New Orleans Pelicans staff, reportedly including several players, were among team employees who received Covid-19 vaccinations under Louisiana state guidelines expanding eligibility, the NBA team said Sunday.
"On March 9th, the State of Louisiana expanded the eligibility for Covid-19 vaccines to include people 18 years of age or older (16 years or older for the Pfizer vaccine) who meet certain health criteria that may result in a higher risk of disease," the Pelicans said in a statement released to NOLA.com and other media outlets.
"Yesterday, individuals within the New Orleans Pelicans organization who met the state health department's eligibility requirements received the vaccine."
On Tuesday, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards encouraged anyone 16 years or older with medical conditions that put them at a higher risk of contracting coronavirus, including asthma, hypertension and being overweight, to get vaccinated.
Reserve guard Sindarius Thornwell tweeted on Friday that he would get vaccinated at the weekend.
"I'm getting the vaccine shot tomorrow... ya boy kinda nervous," he tweeted.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said at the All-Star Game last weekend that he wasn't aware of any players who had yet been vaccinated.
He was adamant as the season began on December 22 that NBA players and staff should not "jump the line" to be vaccinated before their turns.
A league spokesman told ESPN in a statement that the NBA was "fully supportive" of personnel receiving vaccines "when they are eligible" under their state's guidelines.
Some coaches and team staff who met age requirements were among the notable league personnel to be vaccinated fairly early in the roll-out.
The Pelicans did not disclose which other team personnel received the vaccine.
Not all NBA players have publicly discussed their plans when it comes to being innoculated.
"That's a conversation between you and your family and not for everybody," Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James said this month. "I'll keep it that way."