ALL PBA teams are prepared to handle the vaccination of their players, but Commissioner Willie Marcial said they must proceed with caution.
Marcial said the teams must first determine the vaccine best for their players since not all of those currently available are suited for everyone.
“Base kasi sa alam natin ngayon dapat pa ring mag-ingat sa pagpili (ng vaccine) dahil baka magkaroon ng ill effects sa player, lalo na iyung mga may underlying conditions,” Marcial told Malaya-Business Insight.
“Tandaan natin na we’re dealing with individuals here. Kahit professionals pa ang mga iyan dapat pag-aralang mabuti kung ano ang bagay sa bawat isa,” added Marcial.
Vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna have received emergency approval from the World Health Organization with some 50 other vaccines also waiting to get the WHO nod.
The Philippines is currently among the developing countries waiting in line to procure vaccines for the COVID pandemic, with the first batch of doses expected to come in the coming months.
The PBA plans to kick off the season in early April, giving the teams enough time to have their players jabbed.
“Iyun ang maganda dito, na mayroon tayong sapat na panahon para ma-determine kung ano ang pinakabagay na vaccine, iyung safe and effective,” said Marcial.
Marcial had previously assured all 12 member teams that the PBA will help in procuring vaccines for their employees, including their players.
“Sabi ko, sana makabili ng vaccine ang PBA para mabigyan natin ng vaccine ang mga players,” said Marcial during a recent appearance on “Power and Play.”
“Sabi (ng team governors), okay ‘yan, pero siguro naman, kaya na ng teams ‘yan. Sagutin na ng teams ‘yung vaccination nila,” added Marcial.
This means the PBA can focus on acquiring vaccines for its own employees as well as game officials and donating extra doses to frontliners.
Marcial has proposed the idea of donating vaccines to the PBA board. “Kung kaya natin bumili, sagot ng PBA,” he said. “Kung kaya pa nating magbigay, sana makapagbigay tayo.”
All these plans, Marcial pointed out, would be carried out in coordination with the national government.
“Kung papayagan tayo ng government na magkaroon, eh ‘di ba mas (maayos),” said Marcial. “Pero wala (pang usapan).”
Marcial had earlier said the PBA players themselves can get the vaccine either from their teams or from the league itself, should the latter’s help be needed by the franchises.
“Halimbawa sa PBA, bigyan ko ng 25-30pax lang (per team),” bared Marcial during a recent appearance on “The Chasedown.”
“Depende. Kung gusto nila na teams, gusto nila na PBA, puwede. Puwede kami kung PBA ang gagastos, pero may limitasyon sa akin,” added Marcial.
Marcial also said the PBA players, especially those who are abroad, can also get the vaccines on their own, if possible.
“Baka available na sa kanila doon. Kung bibigyan sila, pinapayagan sila, bakit hindi?” he said. “Kung ano lang ang dapat gawin or sundin, kung anong sabihin ng government…
Kung pinapayagan ka, go.”