IOC urges Olympians to take COVID-19 vaccines

AUSANNE, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) — The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has urged teams competing in Olympic and Paralympic Games to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to news released on the IOC’s official website on Tuesday, IOC President Thomas Bach consulted National Olympic Committees (NOCs) as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) as the preparations for the Tokyo Games and the 2022 Beijing Winter Games enter the final stretch.

The IOC said a toolbox of COVID-19 countermeasures has been developed, which includes immigration procedures, quarantine measures, testing, personal protective equipment, contact tracing and also vaccinations.

“Vaccines are one of many tools available in the toolbox, to be used at the appropriate time and in the appropriate way. The IOC continues to strongly support the priority of vaccinating vulnerable groups, nurses, medical doctors and everyone who is keeping our societies safe,” it said.

The IOC said it supported vaccines being provided first to “vulnerable groups, nurses, medical doctors and everyone who is keeping our societies safe.”

“When vaccinations are made available to a broader public, the IOC calls for Olympic and Paralympic teams to be vaccinated, given their role as ambassadors of their NOCs and given the role of sport ‘to promote safe sport as a contributor to the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities’,” read the IOC statement.

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