— Sports

Australian Olympians to be given COVID-19 vaccine priority

SYDNEY (AP) – Australian athletes and support staff preparing for the Tokyo Olympics will prioritize vaccines. On Tuesday, the Australian government said members of the Olympic team would be vaccinated under a priority group that includes healthcare workers, Indigenous people aged over 55, and people older than 70. The vaccination program for athletes and support staff will consist of about 2,000 people, including an estimated 450- 480 Olympic athletes.

The government minister for senior Australians and aged care, Richard Colbeck, said the decision would not come at the cost of at-risk Australians.

“While vulnerable Australians remain an absolute priority as the vaccine rollout continues, National Cabinet understands the pressure our high-performance athletes have been facing as the Tokyo Games draw closer,” Colbeck said in a statement.

Some 1,969,337 vaccine doses have been administered in Australia, 205,203 of which were given in aged and disability care facilities.

Members of the Olympic contingent aged over 50 will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, while those under 50 will be given the Pfizer vaccine.

Australian Olympic Committee chief executive Matt Carroll said the team would be vaccinated outside of the public health program “to ensure the vaccination of our athletes does not place any additional load on the public system.”

“There will be hundreds of very grateful athletes, coaches and their families relieved to know that their hard work over five years has been worth it,” he said in a statement. “This added layer of assurance is what they were seeking.”

Nearby New Zealand announced last month that athletes competing in events of national significance could get early access to a coronavirus vaccine.

Athletes traveling to Japan for the Tokyo Olympics will be required to stay within a “bubble” consisting of the official accommodation, venues, and training areas. They will be tested for the coronavirus before and during their stay, but there is no requirement to be vaccinated ahead of competition.

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More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/olympic-games and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Molly Aronson

Molly Aronson is a 26-year-old government politician who enjoys bowling, running and jigsaw puzzles. She is creative and exciting, but can also be very greedy and a bit greedy.She is an australian Christian who defines herself as straight. She has a post-graduate degree in philosophy, politics and economics. She is allergic to grasshoppers.

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