The NBA on Thursday warned teams that franchises are banned from tracking and administering newly released coronavirus vaccines on a team-wide basis prior to public health guidelines for prioritization. This emerges from a memo from ESPN.
To inform the teams that medical experts advising the NBA have agreed with the FDA that the new Pfizer and Moderna vaccines against the coronavirus are "safe and effective," the NBA informed the teams that the League will work to vaccinate its players and staff in accordance with the schedule and prioritization set out by applicable public health guidelines, "the memo said.
The NBA allows exceptions for team doctors and health-related staff, as well as older employees or those with conditions that pose a higher risk of complications from contracting the coronavirus, the memo said.
The memo comes after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver recently told reporters on a conference call that the NBA would not "be ahead" on the vaccine.
"It goes without saying that we will not jump over the line in any form or way," Silver said on a conference call with reporters Monday. "We'll wait our turn to get the vaccine. If you think of the logistical effort that the federal and state governments are now doing. When every citizen ultimately needs two doses and has a population of over 300 million people, is this incomprehensible to you? Start thinking about the logistical challenges involved in transporting and distributing this vaccine. "
The NBA plans to work with the National Basketball Players Association on campaigns to educate the public about vaccine safety in the coming weeks and months.