Wednesday, August 4

IOC seeks Covid vaccines for second wave athletes so the Olympics can move forward | Tokyo 2020 Olympics

The International Olympic Committee is working on ways to make athletes suffer from the coronavirus in the second or third wave so that the Tokyo Games can safely advance in July, they told The Guardian

While insisting that “we don’t want to queue,” IOC sources hope that athletes around the world will top the vaccination list, once key workers and the vulnerable take the hit

Various sources in the Olympic movement have also indicated that they remain confident that the Games will take place in some form this summer However, the rise of several new coronavirus variants and the sharp increase in cases in Japan, which reported a record 5,307 daily cases on Wednesday, has led to a growing desire to vaccinate athletes in the coming weeks and months

The IOC is aware that it must draw a fine line between ensuring the safety of athletes and appearing overly aggressive, and a few eyebrows were raised in Lausanne on Tuesday when an IOC member, Dick Pound, suggested there would be no public outcry if the athletes were skipping the queue – and that “it was the most realistic way” to ensure that the Tokyo Olympics went ahead

Pound, the oldest member of the IOC, told Sky News: “In Canada, where we could have 300 or 400 athletes, to take 300 or 400 vaccines out of several million for Canada to be represented at an international event of this category , character and level: I don’t think there is any kind of public outcry about that It is a decision that each country must make and there will be people who say that they are skipping the line, but I think that is the most realistic way to do it “

IOC sources stressed to the Guardian that the situation was more nuanced than Pound had imagined

Previously, IOC President Thomas Bach had encouraged athletes to get vaccinated against Covid-19 before Tokyo 2020, but insisted that it would not be an entry requirement This is in part because there is a recognition that the faith of some athletes may mean that they are uncomfortable with using a vaccine containing pig-derived gelatin, which is widely used as a stabilizer to ensure that it remains safe and effective during storage and transportation

Although it did not comment on Pound’s comments, or suggestions that it wanted the athletes to be vaccinated in the second or third wave, the IOC confirmed that it would make “every effort to vaccinate as many foreign participants as possible” before the games

“Together with the National Olympic Committees, we will make every effort for NOCs to encourage and assist their athletes, their officials and their stakeholders to get vaccinated before they arrive in Japan,” the IOC said

“We do this, of course, to further contribute to the safe environment of the Games, but also out of respect for the Japanese because they must be confident that everything possible is being done not only to protect the participants, but also the Japanese, by getting as many visitors as possible vaccinated “

The British Olympic Association and UK Sport have discussed how they could get a Covid vaccine for athletes by July, but it is understood that they are not in active talks with the government BOA CEO Andy Anson said: “ The priority should be the people who need it most; frontline workers, the elderly and vulnerable people There will come a time, hopefully before the Olympics, when athletes can be considered for vaccination, but we will only do so when appropriate “


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