NEW DELHI: Keeping in mind the extensive travel either inside the country or if he gets to train in Europe, and to minimise the risk of contracting COVID-19 virus, India’s No 1 paddler A Sharath Kamal has taken the first shot of the Covishield vaccine late last month with the second dose scheduled forApril.
The ITTF had announced two tournaments in China to be held in May and after returning from Doha after securing his Tokyo pass, the Asian Games medallist decided to take the jab during a vaccination drive carried out by his employers Indian Oil in Chennai.
“The China Hub was essential as it was the final tournament prior to the Olympics. Also, I had plans of travelling to Maharashtra and even Europe later on as part of my training routine. So to minimise the risk of damage, I decided to get inoculated,” the World No 30 paddler informed this daily.
This follows in the footsteps of India’s Olympic-bound archers and the rowers, who will be travelling to Japan to qualify for Tokyo. They were vaccinated by the Army in Pune. Earlier star grappler Bajrang Punia had created headlines after choosing to take the vaccine on his own. “It is an individual choice but I thought this was the best way forward and hence I took the decision. Even if something happens, most likely it will not have too much of an adverse effect,” he said.
The sports ministry has assured vaccination for all athletes slated to travel to Japan while the IOA has written letters to the Health Ministry and AIIMS regarding expediting process.