Nearly a dozen members of the Chicago Bulls roster have taken the first injection of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine designed to protect them from COVID-19, per Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic.
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A second injection is planned for those who chose to be vaccinated. According to a statement released by the team:
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. 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.
The Bulls have had many players miss time this year after landing in the safety protocol system, and many of the players chose to take measures to protect themselves from further issues by becoming vaccinated.
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The Bulls players reportedly took the vaccine on Monday, which was just before they left Chicago for a five-game road trip, their longest of the season. The timing makes sense considering the extended travel could subject the players and staff to more contact with larger groups of people.
Also, with COVID-19 regulations loosening in some states, like Indiana, where the Bulls were on Tuesday, heading in at least partially vaccinated was a logical move.
Crucial Stretch of Games for the Bulls
While safety is paramount for all people, and not just members of the Bulls’ roster and staff, the team is heading into a crucial stretch of contests if they’re serious about the postseason.
After a brutal stretch of games that saw the Bulls face NBA powerhouses like the Utah Jazz (twice), Phoenix Suns, and the Brooklyn Nets (whom Chicago upset on Easter Sunday), things are beginning to get a little more friendly on the schedule.
The Bulls took care of a shorthanded Indiana Pacers squad on Tuesday, and here is a look at who they’re going to face in their next ten contests:
- at Toronto (most likely without Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Rodney Hood, Patrick McCaw, Jalen Harris, and Paul Watson, per NBC Sports’ K.C. Johnson)
- at Atlanta
- at Minnesota
- at Memphis (potentially without Ja Morant)
- vs. Orlando
- vs. Memphis
- vs. Cleveland
- at Boston
- at Cleveland
- vs. Charlotte
You could make the strong argument that all of these games are winnable for the Bulls. That’s especially the case considering how well they have played on their current but modest two-game win streak. There isn’t a better time for the Bulls to hit their stride.
While becoming vaccinated potentially makes the team healthier overall, it also better prepares them to tackle their upcoming professional challenges.