Australian Olympics squad fast-tracked for vaccines ahead of Tokyo games

The Australian Olympic Committee is planning to start the team’s vaccination programme from next week for completion in June.

Olympic Games symbol.
More than 2,000 Olympians and Paralympians and support staff will receive the vaccine ahead of the Games, which are scheduled to open on July 23. Photo: Pixabay

CAPE TOWN, April 28 (ANA) – The Australian government announced on Tuesday that the Olympic team, including all athletes and officials, will be vaccinated before heading off to the Tokyo Olympic Games.

According to the BBC, more than 2,000 Olympians and Paralympians and support staff will receive the jabs ahead of the Games, which are scheduled to open on July 23.

“While vulnerable Australians remain an absolute priority as the vaccine roll-out continues, National Cabinet understands the pressure our high-performance athletes have been facing as the Tokyo Games draw closer,” said Sports Minister Richard Colbeck.

“This will be a very different Olympics and Paralympics, but our athletes deserve the opportunity to compete,” he said.

ABC News reported that the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) is planning to start the Olympic team’s vaccination programme from next week and scheduled to be completed in June.

The team will receive vaccines according to the national plan, which states that those older than 50 years will get the AstraZeneca vaccine and those younger will receive the Pfizer vaccine.

“There will be no load on the public system whatsoever,” said AOC chief executive Matt Carroll.

“The Australian Olympic team, the Paralympic team are going overseas… It’s not as if they’re staying here to compete.

“It protects their health and welfare, without impacting on Australians and their health at all,” he said.

Meanwhile, Japan entered its third state of emergency on Sunday in its bid to curb the country’s largest spike in Covid-19 cases since January. The restrictions were imposed on Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto until May 11.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher

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