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WHO expert says no need to prioritise COVID vaccination of Tokyo Olympics participants

According to the reports, the International Olympic Committee was working with the WHO to ensure that all the athletes received vaccines for the Olympics.

Published: 26th January 2021 01:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th January 2021 01:45 PM   |  A+A-

People wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus stand at the Odaiba waterfront as Olympic rings is seen in the background in Tokyo

People wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus stand at the Odaiba waterfront as Olympic rings is seen in the background in Tokyo. (Photo| AP)

By ANI

GENEVA: The executive director of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme, Mike Ryan, has said that there was no need to prioritize the vaccination of the athletes participating in the Olympic Games in Tokyo planned for July since there are not enough doses to vaccinate even the most vulnerable groups.

Earlier in the day, the president of the French National Olympic Committee, Denis Masseglia, said that unvaccinated athletes would face great challenges during the Tokyo Olympics, including a 14-day quarantine and regular COVID-19 tests.

According to the reports, the International Olympic Committee was working with the WHO to ensure that all the athletes received vaccines for the Olympics. "We have to face the realities of what we face now. There's not enough vaccine to even serve those who are most at risk," Ryan said, commenting on the issue.

The WHO expert has stressed that it is frontline health care workers and the elderly people that should be first to get vaccines, adding that this fact did not in any way diminish the importance of the Olympic Games.

"We face a crisis now on a global scale that requires frontline health workers, those older people and those most vulnerable to access vaccine first. That doesn't in any way negate the desire or the will to have the Olympics," Ryan said.

Originally scheduled for 2020, the Summer Olympic Games in Japan have been postponed until July 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Saturday, Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said that the IOC prepared for various scenarios for holding the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.



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