NBA To Players: Get Vaccinated Or Sit Out


The NBA is in the spotlight … 

The New York Times: NBA Vaccine Skeptics Speak Out

More than 90 percent of N.B.A. players have been vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the league, and all referees and key team personnel without exemptions will be, too, by the season’s start in three weeks.

But a few high-profile players, including the Nets star guard Kyrie Irving, have expressed skepticism about vaccines or been evasive about their vaccination status.

Because the Nets are projected to be a top championship contender, and the team is one of just three whose players must be vaccinated to play in their home arenas, Irving’s vaccination status could be as much of a factor in the N.B.A. rankings as his team’s play. (Deb, 9/27)

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The Wall Street Journal: Crunch Time Is Here For Players Who Oppose Covid-19 Vaccinations

Media day for the Brooklyn Nets was billed as a potentially explosive spectacle in which leading scorer Kyrie Irving might set out his reasons for not being vaccinated against Covid-19 and signal whether he was willing to miss every Nets practice, home game and potential playoffs this season in order to maintain that position.

In the end, Irving spoke from an undisclosed location on Zoom because the 29-year-old guard wasn’t allowed to enter the Barclays Center. Then he declined to address how or whether he would comply with New York City’s requirement to prove vaccination in order to be in an indoor sports arena. (Radnofsky and Bachman, 9/27)

Biden Rolls Up His Sleeve For Booster; McConnell, Too, In ‘Easy Decision’President Joe Biden received his third shot of the Pfizer covid vaccine during an impromptu news conference, as the White House pool recorded the event. He said, “boosters are important, but the most important thing we need to do is get more people vaccinated.”

AP: Biden, McConnell Get COVID-19 Boosters, Encourage VaccinesSeventy-eight-year-old Joe Biden and 79-year-old Mitch McConnell got their booster shots Monday, the Democratic president and the Republican Senate leader urging Americans across the political spectrum to get vaccinated or plus up with boosters when eligible for the extra dose of protection.

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The shots, administered just hours apart on either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, came on the first workday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration recommended a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine for Americans 65 and older and approved them for others with preexisting medical conditions and high-risk work environments. (Miller, 9/27)

Politico: Biden Gets Covid Booster ShotBiden received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 21, 2020, and his second dose on Jan. 11, both on live television. The president’s booster dose was administered as the White House press pool observed and asked questions, creating an impromptu press conference as Biden rolled up his sleeve.

Individuals who want to receive a booster must have had their second shot at least six months ago. Only those who received the Pfizer vaccine are currently eligible for boosters, but Moderna has asked the FDA to approve its booster shot and Johnson & Johnson has begun submitting data on a booster as well. (Rafford, 9/27)

The Hill: McConnell Gets Booster, Calls It ‘Easy Decision’

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he received the COVID-19 booster shot on Monday, calling his choice to get the third dose “an easy decision.” … “I’m glad to share that a few minutes ago, I received a booster vaccination for COVID-19,” McConnell said. “All throughout the pandemic, I have followed the best advice from experts and especially from my own health care providers. It was an easy decision to receive a booster.” (Coleman, 9/27)

Also —

CNBC: Unvaccinated Americans Say The Need For Boosters Proves Covid Vaccines Don’t Work

The divide in attitudes on Covid-19 vaccines between people who’ve gotten or not gotten the shots hasn’t changed with the introduction of booster shots. In fact, vaccinated people say the third dose approved by U.S. regulators last week shows that scientists are trying to make the shots more effective while 71% of unvaccinated Americans say it’s proof the vaccines don’t work, according to a survey released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Rattner, 9/28)

Axios: Non-Pfizer Recipients Wondering When Their COVID Booster Will Come 

A rush of patients — and their questions — followed last week’s news that the CDC and FDA would greenlight Pfizer-BioNTech COVID boosters, the Washington Post reported. The recommendation that those older than 65, the immunocompromised and those in high-risk jobs includes a lot of people — but it left out most who received the Moderna shot and all who received Johnson & Johnson. The wait for boosters news is making some non-Pfizer vaccine recipients a bit salty. (Owens, 9/27)

Stat: Biden Administration Backs Scientific Advisers But Not What They Have To Say

Over the past month, the United States public has received a booster dose of confusion. Follow this whiplash-inducing chain of events. (Herper, 9/27)

Top Officials Stepping Down From CDC And FDA Covid Teams

Leadership of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention covid response will now be held by Barbara Mahon. And at the Food and Drug Administration, Peter Marks will now head up the agency’s vaccine office.

The veteran official leading the pandemic response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is stepping aside, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. Henry Walke, who has overseen the CDC’s Covid-19 response for more than a year, will be replaced by Barbara Mahon, the deputy chief of the agency’s enteric-disease branch, those sources said. Walke will remain at the agency as director of the CDC’s Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections. (Banco and Owermohle, 9/27)
Peter Marks, a high-ranking official at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), took on responsibilities to lead the agency’s vaccine office on Monday, as the office prepares for the retirement of two others who had publicly cast doubt on the need for COVID-19 boosters.An FDA spokesperson said the agency elevated Marks to acting director of the Office of Vaccines Research and Review “to prepare for the upcoming retirement of two senior members of the team” in the fall. (Coleman, 9/27)

In related news about President Biden’s vaccine mandate —

Business groups are growing increasingly frustrated as Labor Department officials move forward with President Biden’s vaccine requirement without seeking their input.While lobbying groups that represent some of the country’s biggest corporations don’t oppose the rule, which will require employers with more than 100 workers to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing, those same organizations have presented Biden officials with lengthy lists of questions about the rule that have so far gone unanswered. (Evers-Hillstrom, 9/27)

Unions representing pilots at Southwest Airlines and American Airlines, both based in Texas, are asking for exemptions to President Joe Biden’s pending vaccine mandate, with one of those unions warning that holiday travel could be disrupted if they have to comply.In a Sept. 24 letter distributed to 15 officials across the FAA, Congress, DOT and others, the Allied Pilots Association, which represents 14,000 pilots at American, suggested mandatory vaccinations could cause disruptions across the aviation industry as airlines will be forced to “offer unpaid leaves of absence or, worse, implement mass terminations of unvaccinated pilots.” (Pawlyk, 9/27)

The United States announced last week that it would soon open its doors to foreign travelers vaccinated against the coronavirus, loosening restrictions for broad swaths of global visitors for the first time since the pandemic began. But the new rules, set to take effect in November, appear to also shut out many people who consider themselves to be fully immunized — including millions who have received two doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. (Taylor, 9/27)
When President Joe Biden directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on Sept. 9 to impose strict COVID-19 vaccination and testing protocols on large businesses, the OSHA employees were ready. It marked the first time in nearly five years that the small agency had the opportunity to fulfill its mission to protect workers across industries from “recognized serious hazards.”But it also highlighted tensions between OSHA and the White House, exposing simmering resentments over how the White House has approached working with the Department of Labor during the pandemic, according to three former top OSHA officials. (Zorthian, 9/27)

Fewest Number Of Americans Getting Covid Shot Since Tracking Started

And that slow pace is also having an impact on the economy. News outlets report on vaccine outreach across the nation, as well as in the NBA.

CNN: Daily Pace Of New Vaccinations Is The Lowest Since The CDC Started Tracking In Mid-January

The daily pace of new Covid-19 vaccinations in the United States is the lowest it has been since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started tracking it in mid-January, data shows. The seven-day average rate of people getting their first shot is 231,695, 31% less than last week, almost half — 47% — less than a month earlier — and a far cry from the millions a day the country saw in April. (Holcombe, 9/27)

NBC News: Slow Pace Of Vaccinations Is Largest Drag On The Economy In Survey Of Business Leaders

Corporate leaders are far less bullish about the economic recovery than they were back in the spring — and they fear that vaccination holdouts could stall or even reverse the progress that has been made.


A new survey by the National Association for Business Economics, or NABE, found a marked pullback in expectations for economic growth and output, especially in the near term. Survey respondents expect real growth in gross domestic product for this year to come in at 5.6 percent at the median — a significant drop from the median 6.7 percent growth expected in May, when the survey was last conducted. (White, 9/27)

Bloomberg: How A Rural Arkansas County Became A Vaccine Success Story 

Demographics alone would suggest Bradley County, Arkansas, should be struggling fiercely with local resistance against vaccines, just as many other counties are all across the southern U.S. (Brown, 9/28)

The Baltimore Sun: Baltimore 4-Year-Old Accidentally Given COVID Vaccine

Before heading out the door on the morning of Sept. 18, Victoria and Martin Olivier and their 4-year-old daughter struck a deal. In exchange for good behavior during the family’s pharmacy visit for seasonal flu shots, Colette could expect a sugary treat in her future.

So when the Walgreens pharmacist asked “Who wants to go first?” and Colette bravely sprang up to volunteer, her parents felt a wave of relief wash over them. But relief soon gave way to panic when the pharmacist realized she injected Colette with a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which is not yet authorized for children younger than 12. (Miller, 9/28)

The Wall Street Journal: Vaccination Status Is The New Must-Have On Your ResumeJob seekers are considering a new addition to their résumés: Covid-19 vaccination status. As employers make vaccine rules for workers and some limit hiring to the vaccinated, people are starting to volunteer their vaccination status on job applications, in résumés and on their LinkedIn profiles.


David Morgan, chief executive of Snorkel-Mart, an online snorkeling gear wholesaler and retailer, started requiring full vaccination for the company’s 20-plus employees in the spring. He says he favors candidates who are candid about their vaccine status on their résumés because it prevents surprises late in the hiring process. (Thomas, 9/27)

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