Britain is the ONLY major sports nation where Tokyo 2020 athletes haven’t ‘accelerated’ to get their Covid vaccine, and Team GB’s chiefs hope the government will give the green light to ensure the stars are stung for the Olympics
- Team GB Olympic stars are not allowed to queue for vaccination
- Britain is the only major sports nation without an accelerated athlete policy
- The BOA hopes the government will ensure they are stabbed before Tokyo 2020
Britain is now the only major sports nation in the world where the government has not officially approved a ‘fast track’ Covid vaccine policy for athletes planning to compete in the Tokyo Olympics.
The British Olympic Association hopes that a decision will soon be taken in Whitehall to give the green light to such a plan so that all members of Team GB – which consists of approximately 375 athletes – have had enough time to take both doses of the shot. to get.
The Games begin on July 23, which is now less than 10 weeks, and time is running out for two doses, which should be given 12 weeks apart, although that gap could safely be much smaller.
The athletes of Team GB in Tokyo 2020 have not been allowed to speed up their Covid jabs so far
If the government doesn’t make a quick decision, the BOA will likely instead take up the offer of Pfizer vaccines made available in a deal struck earlier this month by the pharmaceutical giant and the International Olympic Committee.
But time is of the essence, because the BOA is happy to arrange logistics. The urgency lies equally in protecting competitors, but also, significantly, to show that Team GB wants to be ‘good citizens’ and minimize the risk of a British athlete bringing the virus to Japan or spreading it.
Sir Hugh Robertson, chairman of the BOA, said: “ The government’s vaccine rollout has been excellent and, coupled with the donation of the Pfizer vaccine by the IOC for athletes, this means we hope that all athletes will be vaccinated. before traveling to Tokyo.
The Olympic and Paralympic athletes in Brazil all received their injections this week prior to the Games
“It is important that this happens quickly to assure our hosts in Tokyo that we are doing everything we can to keep their people safe.”
All the ‘biggest’ sports nations around the world, from the US – which topped the medal table in Rio 2016 – to China, Russia, Germany, Australia and elsewhere – have already confirmed priority vaccinations for their Olympians.
By Friday, 36,115,955 people in the UK had had at least one shot of Covid vaccine and 19,319,010 had had two, for a total of 55,434,965 vaccine doses given so far. Against this backdrop, any public outcry against Olympians getting 750 doses between them should be minimal. In fact, given Pfizer’s offer to the IOC, it should be close to zero. What is needed now is clarity so that the BOA and the athletes can plan the way forward.
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