LA County says there is no known plan to provide COVID-19 vaccine shots to the Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel talks with the team during a time out against the Miami Heat at Staples Center on February 20, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Los Angeles County's public health director said Wednesday she was unaware of any effort to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to members of the Lakers organization, following an ESPN report that doses would be administered this week to unspecified people with the club.

The ESPN report, citing unnamed sources, said members of the "organization" would be receiving vaccinations this week. It did not specify whether that meant players or staff members.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel was asked Tuesday night about possible vaccinations, and said, "There's been some talk about trying to get it, but we're not there yet," according to ESPN.

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told reporters Tuesday she knows "nothing about Laker players getting vaccinated," adding that the average Laker player likely wouldn't be eligible for shots under current guidelines.

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"Any Laker player with a serious underlying health condition is obviously eligible, as are any staff, as are any residents here in L.A. County," Ferrer said. "But beyond that, we have not opened vaccinations yet for everybody 16 and older. So I have heard nothing about this at all. ... Those doses are not coming from L.A. County doses, because we don't know anything about this."

Current county eligibility for vaccinations includes health care workers, long-term care residents and staff, select essential workers, anyone aged 65 or over and anyone over age 16 with a serious underlying health issue putting them at high risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19.

Several NBA teams have acknowledged over the past week that organization members had been vaccinated. The Atlanta Hawks and Portland Trail Blazers have both stated that more than a dozen players on each team had been= vaccinated. Eligibility for the shots can vary widely in different states, with some states and counties much farther along in the vaccination program.

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