In preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, the Australian Olympic and Paralympic teams have begun getting the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccinations. More than 2,000 athletes and officials are set to receive the vaccine in the lead up to the games. The first doses of the vaccine have begun rolling out this week to allow the second dose to be administered before the commencement of the games in July.
The Australian Olympic Committee have not implemented a ‘no jab, no play’ policy for athletes, leaving the choice to get vaccinated up to the individual. So far there are no reports of any of the athletes opting not to get the vaccine.
The allocation for the vaccine for the Olympics has not come out of the numbers allocated to members of the public. With the Australian Olympic Committee chief executive officer Matt Carroll stating that the teams are not jumping the queue for vaccinations. He has said that all members of the public who were due to be vaccinated in the current cohort for the Government’s roll out of the vaccination will not be affected by the doses allocated to athletes and officials.
There were prior concerns about the Australian teams being stranded in Tokyo if they were to attend the games. In order to minimize the risk for the athletes, they will be required to depart the athlete’s village and Tokyo within 48 hours after they have finished competing in their events.
There have been chartered flights organized with Qantas to allow the athletes to return within this time frame. Upon their return to Australia all athletes and officials will be required to complete the mandatory two-week hotel quarantine. There has been careful consideration between the Australian Olympic Committee and the State Governments to ensure that the number of athletes returning will not impact the current incoming traveller caps for each State.
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