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Tokyo 2020

Are all Tokyo Olympics bound athletes fully vaccinated?

Whether it be in India or abroad, adequate steps have been taken to vaccinate all athletes and official headed to Tokyo Olympics

Tokyo Olympics

 Tokyo Olympics


C.C. Chengappa

Updated: 15 July 2021 5:29 AM GMT

With reports surfacing of Olympic officials from various countries testing positive at the Tokyo Games village, it only becomes imperative to understand whether Indian athletes are fully prepared for Covid themselves. Officials in Tokyo have bracing for a Covid outbreak and it is seemingly inevitable that there will be reports of cases in the upcoming weeks if adequate precautions are not taken. US Olympic swimmer Michael Andrews stated that he would not be taking the vaccine as he did not wish to put anything in his body that could cause reactions. This was being done to prevent a break in his training regime and cycle that was crucial in the run up to the finals days of the Olympics. India however has prioritised the vaccination of its sportspersons headed to Tokyo.

As of the beginning of March, it was reported that a majority of Indian athletes have been vaccinated with the first dose of the Covid vaccine. The number was put around 148 and it included several Tokyo bound athletes as well. Various sports centres around the country such as the NIS or even SAI centres had organised vaccination camps for athletes.

It was then reported on 8th June that the second dose of the Covid Vaccine would be administered to Indian athletes in advance. Narinder Batra had expressed full confidence that all Indian athletes and officials would be administered with both doses by the beginning of July.

Towards the beginning of July, the Ministry of External Affairs had to intervene and ensure adequate vaccination procedures were undertaken for athletes who were overseas. The athletes included Neeraj Chopra, Deepak Punia, Satish Kumar and a host of other individuals training in countries like Russia and Croatia. There were a lot of difficulties as different countries had different vaccination procedures and all Indian athletes were spread across various parts of Europe. Other foreign based athletes such as Bhavani Devi(vaccinated in Italy), Mirabai Chanu(USA) and certain members of the shooting team(Croatia) all got their shots abroad.

Overall, it seems as though there have been adequate measures taken by the Sports Ministry to prioritise the vaccination of Indian athletes and none of the members of the Indian contingent will be exposed to Covid 19. Vaccinations are not mandatory as per the IOC and the only measures that have been stressed as important are those such as wearing masks and maintaining distancing.

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