NBA recommending players, coaches receive COVID-19 booster shot by Dec. 1

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The NBA is officially recommending COVID-19 booster shots for its players, coaches and referees.

The league told these three groups on Sunday that they should receive a coronavirus vaccine booster shot — especially if they first received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to The Associated Press.

Those who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago, the league and the players association said, should get a booster shot of their choice. Those who received full doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines more than six months ago should receive a booster.

The league’s recommendations mirror that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which last month issued similar recommendations for tens of millions of Americans, according to The New York Times. The CDC authorized boosters for all three vaccines, and said people can receive a different booster shot than they initially received.

The NBA also implemented a new Dec. 1 deadline for certain fully vaccinated personnel. If players, coaches or officials don’t receive a booster shot by that date, depending on when the initial vaccine was administered, they will be required to game-day testing once again.

About 58% of Americans are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus as of Sunday afternoon, according to The New York Times. While there are a few holdouts in the NBA still, more than 97% of players are fully vaccinated.

Among those holdouts is Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving, who has been barred from playing with the team due to a New York City mandate. Mayor-elect Eric Adams said that he will not change the city’s current mandate anytime soon, either. Though the Nets have said they will welcome Irving back with open arms if he either gets vaccinated or the city’s mandate lifts, it’s unclear when one of those things will actually happen.

Several prominent NBA players all landed in the league’s health-and-safety protocol last week, too, including Kevin Love, Khris Middleton and Tobias Harris — who 76ers coach Doc Rivers said was dealing with a symptomatic case.

“It hit him for sure,” Rivers said Wednesday. “A lot of guys have had this and they are mad like, ‘What the hell? I’m fine.’ Tobias is not in that category, I can tell you that.”

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