Bulls' Zach LaVine Likely in Health and Safety Protocols Until After Christmas

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVDecember 16, 2021

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) dribbles the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
AP Photo/Marta Lavandier

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine is expected to be out of the lineup through Christmas, coach Billy Donovan said Thursday.

Ayo Dosunmu and Alize Johnson are also expected to be out through the holiday. All three players are in health and safety protocols. 

The Bulls are a fully vaccinated team but have been going through an outbreak that's caused postponements to both Tuesday's game against the Detroit Pistons and Thursday's game against the Toronto Raptors. Those were the first two postponements of the 2021-22 NBA season.

A high vaccination rate has allowed the NBA to play games on schedule this season, but there has been a massive spike in players in health and safety protocols of late. A combination of variants spreading across the United States and the waning preventative nature of vaccines over time is seen as the main reasons.

All Tier 1 staff (e.g. coaches, medical personnel) are required to receive booster vaccinations. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported employees are required to undergo a booster shot by Friday or they will no longer have access to Tier 1 employees. Players are not required to undergo vaccination, but they will be subject to game-day testing if they have not received a booster by Friday.

The CDC recommends people who took a two-shot vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) shot receive a booster six months after vaccination and those who received Johnson & Johnson undergo a booster two months after their first shot.

 Initial studies have shown boosters are effective at preventing infections.