Great Britain

Vaccination of Australian Olympic athletes to commence on Monday

The Covid-19 vaccination of Australian athletes for the Tokyo Games will commence on Monday, said John Coates. The Australian Olympic Committee chair, who is also vice-president of the International Olympic Committee, added all precautions were being taken to secure the health and safety of athletes and the locals in Tokyo.

“(We have had) countermeasures predicated on there being no vaccine, so that situation has improved - the Games are going ahead,” said Coates after the AOC’s annual meeting.

“All of the precautions we are taking are aimed at the health of the athletes and the health of the people of Japan.”

Coates also said a decision on whether local spectators will be permitted to attend the Games is expected to be announced at the end of May.

The AOC said vaccination for Australian athletes will commence on Monday, while also confirming the AOC will pay for the athletes’ quarantine.

The AOC is running the roll-out for the Australian Olympic team and the Paralympic team, which will commence on Monday in the five mainland capital cities and at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. The Australian government announced in late April athletes would be eligible for early Covid-19 vaccination.

However, some athletes including high-profile swimmer Cate Campbell and high jumper Nicola McDermott, have questioned the impact the two doses will have on their preparations so close to the Games. The Australian Swimming Trials are scheduled for June with second doses of the vaccine potentially to be provided within weeks of the July start date for the Tokyo Olympiad.

Athletes and officials returning from Japan will need to complete the standard 14-day quarantine, but the AOC is looking at coordinating its own partner for quarantine.

“We will make our own arrangements in regards to accommodation, at our expense, while complying with all state and federal government requirements,” said Coates.

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