Bulls players receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine ahead of five-game road trip


The Chicago Bulls can be added to the list of NBA teams whose players have been vaccinated for COVID-19. Bulls players received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine earlier this week before leaving for a five-game road trip that includes stops in Indiana, Toronto, Atlanta, Minnesota and Memphis, according to Jamal Collier of the Chicago Tribune. The second dose will be administered in the coming weeks. The Bulls join the New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, Atlanta Hawks and Oklahoma City Thunder as the teams whose players have had an opportunity to receive the vaccine. At this point, vaccine availability depends on location, among other factors. 

“The Chicago Bulls worked with the city of Chicago and Rush University Medical Center to vaccinate some of our players while they were in town,” a Bulls team spokesperson said in a statement. “The Bulls have been active supporters of the city’s campaigns to communicate vital COVID-19 health and safety messages over the last year, and we look forward to joining forces with them again to support an upcoming vaccine advocacy campaign. These efforts are important to our families, our friends, our fans and the Chicago community, and we are proud to contribute our voices and team marketing resources to help amplify important vaccine advocacy messages.”  

Last month the NBA and NBPA agreed to loosen the health and safety protocols for those who are fully vaccinated. Once fully vaccinated, players are allowed to eat at outdoor restaurants, attend in-person meetings, and they no longer have to wear masks at team facilities. Bulls forward Thaddeus Young said the potential of a return to normalcy was a motivating factor for many Bulls players when it came to getting the vaccine. 

“We have a lot of the information in our hands and we’ve utilized the information and took the time to learn more about the vaccine,” Young said. “The guys who did take it came to the conclusion that we want to take it as soon as possible so we could loosen some of these protocols and try to get back to living a semi-normal life.”

The NBA was hit hard by COVID-19 earlier in the season as it had to postpone a plethora of games as players were forced to miss action to comply with league protocols. The issue has subsided in recent weeks, though, and only one player out of 483 tested positive in the league’s latest round of testing. This trend will likely continue as the vaccine becomes more readily available across the country, and more teams and players get it. 

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