Australian athletes competing in Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be given priority access to Corona vaccines before departing. The Federal Government has announced that approximately 2,050 athletes and support staff traveling to Japan for Olympics and Paralympics will be considered a priority group in the troubled vaccine rollout.
Greg Hunt, the Minister for Health, said that vaccines would safeguard Australians traveling to Tokyo in July and August. The Tokyo Olympics are set to start on July 23, having been postponed in 2020 amid pandemic.
“We want to see our athletes head to Tokyo to compete and then return to Australia safely,” he said in a statement. As of Tuesday, there had been about 1.9 million vaccine doses administered in Australia, with the rollout having been plagued by supply issues and safety concerns over AstraZeneca’s vaccine.
However, Sport Minister Richard Colbeck reassured Australians that the decision to prioritise Olympians would not delay vaccinations for vulnerable people.