Bulls' Thad Young wants 'semi-normal life' after COVID-19 vaccine

K.C. Johnson
·2 min read
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Thad Young thankful for COVID-19 vaccine, education originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Thad Young laughed as he light-heartedly revealed he was the only Bulls player to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by taking the shot in his right arm.

"The one I don't use very much," the left-handed forward said.

But the 14-year veteran knows that receiving the vaccine is no joking matter as the NBA, like the country, wrestles with the global pandemic. And he's thankful that the NBA and Bulls provided players with enough information to make an educated choice.

"I just wanted to make sure that it wasn’t harmful to me or it would be harmful to anyone else around," Young said Thursday morning following the Bulls' morning shootaround in Tampa, Fla., in advance of their meeting with the Raptors. "This has been an ongoing process over the course of a couple months of discussing would it be available to us. Obviously, everyone else had to get it before us -- essential workers, people who work in the hospitals, stuff like that. When it became available, a lot of the guys we just wanted the information. The Bulls and the league, they came together and gave us a lot of the information that we needed to make the educated decisions.

"And obviously when you become fully vaccinated, it kind of loosens up some of the protocols and some of the things we have as far as for our safety. The guys who did take it came to the conclusion that we want to take it as soon as possible so we could loosen some of these protocols and try to get back to living a semi-normal life."

The NBA has incentivized the vaccination process for players by adjusting some of its safety protocols. These measures, according to multiple reports, include fewer mandated COVID-19 tests, no quarantining following contact tracing and such social measures as allowing friends and family members to visit without testing and accepting visitors at the team hotel on trips. If a team reaches 85 percent vaccination, those who are vaccinated no longer have to wear masks at the team's practice facility.

Still, Young acknowledged the Bulls had "a couple guys who didn't take it." The Bulls received their first dose of the vaccine on Monday before embarking on a five-game trip.

"The only symptoms I had so far since getting it is I had slight chills and shivers for probably like an hour. No real body aches or anything like that," Young said. "It made me tired as hell. I went straight to sleep and almost missed my COVID test. Other than that, I was fine."

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