IOA wants to prioritize vaccination of Indian athletes ahead of Olympics

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The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has written a letter to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and requested him to vaccinate the Olympics-bound athletes on a priority basis, with the high-profile International sports event being around the corner.

IOA wants the athletes to get vaccinated as early as possible

Olympic Games is set to take place in Japan’s capital city Tokyo. The event was postponed in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic and it has been rescheduled. It will begin on July 23 and continue till August 8.

IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta sent the letter to Union Minister  Harsh Vardhan shedding light on the vaccination of the Indian participants in the Olympics.

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He wrote: “Since there is just five months left for the commencement of the Tokyo Olympic Games, two dosage of vaccination for the athletes and officials representing India is required consideration on priority.”

He added: “Therefore, we request your good office to consider vaccination of Covid-19 for the Indian athletes and officials who will be representing India in the Tokyo Olympic Games and may please arrange to issue necessary direction in this regard.”

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Mehta also mentioned that if the government allows the IOA, in coordination with the concerned National Sports Federations (NSFs), then they can facilitate the vaccination as the athletes and officials are training and staying at different parts of the country.

As many as 74 Indian athletes have qualified for the Olympics and the Indian athletes are expected to compete in 17 sports. More than 150 athletes are assumed to take part in the Tokyo Games.

IOA declared that a total of 15 shooters, four archers, 32 hockey players (men and women), four wrestlers, nine boxers, one from equestrian and five individual track and field athletes, as well as the 4x400m relay team, have so far qualified for the Olympics.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach had announced in the last month that he had left the responsibility of the vaccination to the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and told to coordinate with their respective governments over athletes’ access to vaccines.

The NOCs of countries like Israel, Greece, Belgium and Hungary have asked their governments for vaccination of athletes as well.

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