A second NBA team has now received their first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Thirty six members of the Atlanta Hawks, including 14 players, received their first dose of the vaccine Thursday after their 116-93 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Only three players on the team did not receive the vaccine, but only because they are not eligible to do so under Georgia rules.
The team posted photos of Danilo Gallinari, John Collins, Bruno Fernando and De’Andre Hunter all receiving their shots on Thursday night.
“Each of the vaccinated members meet the recently-updated eligibility criteria in the state of Georgia and the physicians from Emory Healthcare, the official healthcare providers for the Atlanta Hawks, administered the shots,” the team said in a statement, in part.
“Increasing access to health, wellness and play throughout the greater Atlanta community continues to be a priority for our organization. As eligibility for vaccination continues to expand, we intend to use our platform and influence to encourage and educate citizens on the importance of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are eligible, especially younger adults and communities of color.”
Hawks join Pelicans players in getting COVID vaccine
The Hawks are now the second team in the league to have players receive a dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
“Multiple” New Orleans Pelicans players and staff members did so last week, after Louisiana expanded guidelines in the state. It’s unclear who within the organization specifically got vaccinated.
The NBA and the Players Association agreed to changes in the health and safety protocols this week for those within the league who are fully vaccinated. The new rules, which start only after players are two weeks past their final dose or when teams and staff are at least 85% vaccinated, are much less restrictive than the previous rules.
The Hawks, however, remain just below that 85% threshold with three players and numerous staff members still needing vaccines.
About 23% of Americans have received at least a single dose of a coronavirus vaccine as of Thursday night, according to The New York Times, and about 12% of Americans are fully vaccinated. The country is administering more than 2.5 million doses of the vaccine each day on average, too.
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