הטבעות האולימפיות בטוקיו
The Olympic symbol in Tokyo
Photo: AP
The Olympic symbol in Tokyo

Israel to vaccinate its athletes for Tokyo Games by May

Amid global debate over giving priority to competitors, spokesperson for Israel's National Olympic Committee says country has already vaccinated 50 percent of delegation to Games that were postponed for year due to pandemic

Reuters |
Published: 01.27.21, 16:27
Israel intends to have all its athletes due to compete at the Tokyo Olympics vaccinated against COVID-19 by May, its National Olympic Committee said on Wednesday, amid global debate over whether athletes should be given priority access in the rollout.
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    הטבעות האולימפיות בטוקיו
    הטבעות האולימפיות בטוקיו
    The Olympic symbol in Tokyo
    (Photo: AP)
    Israel, however, currently leads the world on per capita vaccinations, having inoculated 29% of its population with at least one dose. It has already started vaccinating all members of the population over the age of 40 as well as pregnant women and 11th and 12th graders who are due to take their matriculation exams.
    "As part of the Israel vaccination for corona procedure already 50% of all the Israel Olympic athletes delegation to Tokyo have been vaccinated," a Committee spokesperson told Reuters in an email.
    "By the end of May 2021, all... will be completely vaccinated against the coronavirus."
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    נשים בהריון מתחסנות
    נשים בהריון מתחסנות
    A pregnant woman receives the coronavirus vaccine in Tel Aviv
    (Photo: AFP)
    Much of Japan is under a state of emergency due to a third wave of COVID-19 infections, but organizers have vowed to press ahead with the Games, which are due to open on July 23 after being postponed for a year because of the pandemic.
    Some countries are hesitant to prioritize athletes over those more in need of the vaccine.
    A British Olympic Association representative told Reuters they have not spoken to their athletes about vaccinations and their priority remains "vulnerable, elderly and front line workers."
    The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) said some athletes have resisted inoculation as many raised questions about their performances being affected as a result.
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    World Athletics President Sebastian Coe
    World Athletics President Sebastian Coe
    World Athletics President Sebastian Coe
    (Photo: Reuters)
    International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has said that although participants will be encouraged to get vaccinated, it will not be mandatory.
    World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has said that he was against the concept of compulsory vaccinations and did not like the idea of athletes taking priority ahead of vulnerable people or frontline workers.

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