IOC: Athletes don’t want to “jump queue,” but must remain delayed by jabsConfidence 2020 Games will continue in July 2020.
The Guardian has been told that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is working on ways to get athletes the coronavirus vaccine in the second or third wave so that the Tokyo Games can safely go ahead in July.
Several Olympic sources have also suggested that they remain optimistic that this summer the Games will take place in some form. However, the emergence of many new strains of coronavirus and the sharp increase in cases in Japan, which recorded a record 5,307 cases per day on Wednesday, has led to an increasing desire in the coming weeks and months to get athletes vaccinated. The IOC is aware that it must walk a fine line between ensuring protection for athletes and being unnecessarily invasive, and there were some raised eyebrows in Lausanne on Tuesday when one IOC member, Dick Pound, indicated that if athletes skipped the queue there would be no public uproar – and that “it was the most realistic way” to ensure that the Olympics in Tokyo would go forward. Pound, the longest-serving member of the IOC, told Sky News, “In Canada, where we have maybe 300 or 400 athletes, I don’t think there would be any kind of public outcry about taking 300 or 400 vaccines out of several million to represent Canada at an international event of this size, character and level.”
“It’s a choice that every nation has to make for itself, and there will be individuals who say they’re jumping the gun, but I think that’s the most realistic way to move forward. “IOC sources told the Guardian that the situation was more complex than Pound had made it out to be. Previously, before Tokyo 2020, IOC President Thomas Bach had urged athletes to get vaccinated against Covid-19, This is partially due to an understanding that the values of some athletes may lead them to feel uncomfortable about using a vaccine containing pork gelatin, which is often used as a stabilizer to ensure that it remains safe and effective during storage and transport. The IOC did not elaborate on the statements or recommendations made by Pound that athletes should be vaccinated in the second or third wave, but stated that before the Games it would “make every effort to ensure that as many foreign participants as possible” are vaccinated. “Together with the National Olympic Committees, we will make every effort to ensure that NOCs encourage and support their athletes, their officials and their stakeholders to be vaccinated before they come to Japan,” the IOC said. “We are doing this, of course, to further contribute to a safe environment at the Games, but also out of respect for the Japanese people, as they should be confident that everything is being done to protect not only the participants but also the Japanese people by vaccinating as many visitors as possible. “The British Olympic Association and UK Sport addressed how they should have a Covid v v. Andy Anson, chief executive of BOA, said, “The priority has to be with the people who need it most; frontline workers, the elderly and the vulnerable. There will come a time, hopefully before the Olympics, when athletes can be considered for vaccination, but we will only do that if it is appropriate.”