MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia plans to vaccinate its Olympians against COVID-19 before they head to the Tokyo Olympics, said federal sports minister Richard Colbeck.
Colbeck confirmed there are plans for athletes to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before 23 July-August. 8 Games.
“We have received advice from ATAGI (Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization) about the launch plan, the athletes are according to that plan and we will do it,” Senator Colbeck said in comments published by the Canberra Times on Thursday.
“If our plans work out well, it might very well be that the Olympic athletes, for example, we will discuss it before they go to the Olympics.”
A number of national Olympic committees are planning to vaccinate their athletes.
Israel’s Olympic Committee told Reuters on Wednesday that it had vaccinated half of the Olympic delegation and would complete the process by the end of May.
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said on Wednesday that the governing body does not support athletes who “jump in line” for the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said it hoped athletes could be vaccinated but said vulnerable people and healthcare workers should come first.
“We recommend and encourage our athletes to get vaccinated but support an IOC position which is not mandatory,” said an AOC spokesman on Thursday.
Reporting by Ian Ransom; Edited by Toby Davis
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