U.S.-based NHL players starting to receive COVID-19 vaccines

Chris Johnston and Elliotte Friedman look at the latest news from around the NHL, including the Buffalo Sabres being 'open for business' as they struggle this season.

The distribution pace of COVID-19 vaccinations differs from state to state, province to province, and country to country.

In the U.S., many regions are ahead of schedule on their vaccine rollout, which has allowed a "small number" of NHL players to begin receiving doses, as Sportsnet's Chris Johnston noted during the Headlines segment of Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday.

"The league’s aware of some players who have got it through some circumstances, say the city that they live where it’s become available," Johnston said. "That hasn’t reached the point where it’s systematic yet. It’s not as though a team has been able to secure a vaccine for all its staff and its players just yet, but this process of getting the league vaccinated is now underway."

According to NPR's COVID-19 tracking data, 16.7 per cent of Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 8.6 per cent have received both doses.

The state of Massachusetts, home to the Boston Bruins, is one of the states doing particularly well — 20.2 per cent of the population has received at least one dose.

By contrast, a COVID-19 vaccine tracker operated by the University of Saskatchewan's Noah Little found that only 4.64 per cent of Canadians have received at least one dose.

“There’s no saying how long this (vaccine rollout) will take because, here in Canada, it has not happened on the same level as in the U.S.," Johnston said. "But it has started south of the border.”

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