Australia to vaccinate athletes for Tokyo Olympics

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SYDNEY, April 28 (Xinhua) — The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) hailed the federal government’s decision to vaccinate athletes for the Tokyo Olympic Games and promised the vaccination of athletes would not place additional load on the public system.

Australian Minister for Health Greg Hunt and Minister for Sport Richard Colbeck announced on Tuesday that the National Cabinet has agreed to vaccinate athletes and support staff headed to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games under priority group 1b. The vaccinations will comprise both Pfizer and AstraZeneca, the latter of which is for team members aged over 50 years.

Supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine will be made available to approximately 2,050 Australians identified by the AOC and Paralympics Australia.

AOC CEO Matt Carroll, in a statement on late Tuesday, said, “There will be hundreds of very grateful athletes, coaches, and their families relieved to know that their hard work over five years has been worth it. This added layer of assurance is what they were seeking.”

Carroll said the AOC will be working with its partners Aspen Medical on the logistics to ensure the vaccination of athletes does not place any additional load on the public system and will continue to make efforts to keep the Australian Olympic team safe before, during, and after the Games.

“We are awaiting the second iteration of the Tokyo health and safety playbook and a further playbook in June. Our own specific measures will be finalised once we have that complete picture,” he said.

The Australian Team travelling to Tokyo is likely to consist of 450-480 athletes competing in more than 30 sports. Enditem

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