The memo reportedly recommended those who had received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine get a Pfizer or Moderna booster. Those who received Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are encouraged to receive whichever booster shot is available.
The news comes as approximately 97 percent of NBA players have already been reportedly vaccinated. However, new data has shown the levels of antibodies drop significantly after six months for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and two months for Johnson & Johnson.
Those who are eligible to receive a booster shot and refuse to do so could face game-day testing as early as Dec. 1. The testing date will depend on when the person was originally vaccinated and which brand of the vaccine was used.
The report follows the recent controversy involving Brooklyn Nets’ guard Kyrie Irving. The all-star has been banned from the team until he is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a statement from the team in October.
“Given the evolving nature of the situation and after thorough deliberation, we have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant. Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose,” Nets General Manager Sean Marks said in a statement from the Nets on Tuesday.
“Currently the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability,” he added.
Another controversy involved Golden States Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins who accepted the COVID-19 vaccine after his request for religious exemption was denied. Wiggins had been informed that he would have been barred from playing home games if he didn’t get vaccinated.
Without a vaccine passport, Wiggins faced the possibility of not being able to enter the Golden State’s home building at Chase Center for games, when the San Francisco Department of Public Health began requiring proof of vaccination for large indoor events on Oct. 13.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr confirmed Wiggins vaccination status on Oct. 3 while speaking to reporters during his media availability. The 26-year-old Canadian basketball star is now eligible to play in all games.
Anyone 12 or older is required to show proof of vaccination to attend indoor events at Chase Center, and that message is on the Warriors’ website for fans.
Lorenz Duchamps contributed to this report.