The Portland Trail Blazers announced Monday that 12 players have received their first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The team later announced a correction that 13 players had been vaccinated.
The team said via a press release Monday that the players received access to the excess supply from the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, who began offering the vaccine to the general public in February. They now have their first dose after meeting the state’s eligibility requirements.
“The Trail Blazers organization and players are grateful to the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde for making these vaccines available to the general public,” the team statement said.
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Trail Blazers big Jusuf Nurkic revealed he was one of the 12 players vaccinated in recent days.
"I can't live in fear of infecting someone else and the people I love," the Bosnian Beast said in a post on Twitter. "The best protection is vaccine and the fastest way to get back to normal. #HaveYourOpinion #MakeYourMove."
Portland is just the third team NBA team to announce its players have received the COVID-19 vaccine. The Atlanta Hawks and the New Orleans Pelicans are the other NBA teams to confirm that players have received the initial dose.
The NBA recently relaxed its health and safety protocols for individuals who are vaccinated. Some of the benefits for teams that are vaccinated include fewer mandated coronavirus tests, no quarantine requirements following contact tracing issues, being able to have visitors at the team hotel on road trips, and eating outdoors at restaurants at home or on the road.