Australia planning to vaccinate Olympic athletes before Tokyo Games


Australia aims to vaccinate its Olympians against COVID-19 before they head to the Tokyo Games, federal sport minister Richard Colbeck said.

Advice from the body coordinating the vaccination rollout plan suggested that athletes would likely be inoculated before the July 23-Aug 8 Games, Colbeck said in comments published by the Canberra Times on Thursday.

"If our plans work OK, it may very well be conceivable that Olympic athletes, for example, we'll get to them before they head off to the Games anyway," he was quoted as saying.

Colbeck later issued a statement saying that "older Australians, frontline workers and those with underlying medical conditions" would be prioritized and that "most athletes" would be vaccinated in a later phase of the rollout.

A number of national Olympic committees are planning to vaccinate their athletes before the Games.

Israel's Olympic Committee said it had already vaccinated half its Olympic delegation and would complete the process by the end of May.

The International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said on Wednesday the governing body was not in favor of athletes "jumping the queue" for COVID-19 vaccines.

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said it hoped athletes could be vaccinated but said vulnerable people and health workers must come first.

"We are recommending and encouraging our athletes to get vaccinated but support the IOC position that it’s not mandatory," an AOC spokesman said.

© Thomson Reuters 2021.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Everyone should be

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Well, they have about three years to do it.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Really disappointed with this decision. I thought perhaps the Aussies would step up and say that it is just not fair for Olympic athletes to jump the cue, just for a sporting event. Hopefully someone else will have the guts, or balls to say that, and get the ball rolling on forcing Japan to cancel the games!

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Aussies dont need to worry at all as there will be no olympics in Tokyo-at least not this year.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

So, the games are going ahead, after all.

Mixed feelings, again, about all this. Surely saving face can't be above Japanese lives (and all who are at risk), can it?

Concentrate on the pandemic, Japan. Please.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Take your time, it's not happening this year.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

How can athletes have priority over the elderly and vulnerable?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Yeah, they are probably already standing in line...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

. Surely saving face can't be above Japanese lives (and all who are at risk), can it?

Saving face only perhaps not...but saving face couples with pork for LDP donor companies? Definately...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What about all the people who need to arrive months before the July start?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think this guy is dreaming.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Maybe, they mean Elderly Athletes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How can the athletes have priority over the elderly and vulnerable?

They wont be. Any suggestion that they will get vaccinated before the elderly, vulnerable and health care workers is false and misleading.

Australia purchased vaccines early from overseas sources and also is manufacturing one vaccine type domestically and it has been estimated they will be producing one million doses a week from march this year.

Athletes may be vaccinated early in Phase two of the roll out. Phase one covers those who "need it" first.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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