NBA Requiring Booster Shots for Media and Other Personnel
Currently, if you want to cover the Sixers or any other NBA team, you have to have the COVID-19 vaccine. If you don’t get it, you can go to the games, but you have to sit in the Flyers press box and can’t be near the players or coaches. You are hereby banished to the hinterlands of “Comcast Country.”
Now the league is adding another layer to the protocol, and requiring all media and related courtside personnel get a booster shot as well, or else they’re on the outside and looking in.
Here’s a portion of the memo that went out Tuesday afternoon:
“Based on discussions with the NBA’s infectious disease and other medical experts, CDC guidance, and initial data showing substantially reduced protection from the Omicron variant absent a booster, and consistent with the requirement in Health and Safety Memo M-21-32 that team staff receive a booster dose in order to remain eligible to be Tier 1 Personnel, effective Wednesday, January 5, the following individuals who are eligible for a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine must receive such dose to have in-person interaction with, or be within 15 feet of, any player or referee:
- Scorer’s table personnel;
- Team attendants (for clarity, based on current eligibility criteria, including, for example, individuals who are 16 or 17 years old and received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago);
- Media who attend team and/or league media availability sessions in person; and
- Game announcers, sideline reporters, and on-site studio talent.
So if we have it all straight, come January, fans will need proof of vaccine to get into the Wells Fargo Center for Sixers, Flyers, or Wings games, etc. Sixers media will need boosters to be near the players and coaches. And right now you need vaccination to be around the Eagles/Flyers/etc, but nothing from the NHL or NFL right now on requiring booster shots for the personnel listed above covering those sports.