According to reports from PTI, COVID-19 vaccination for Indian athletes who will take part in the Tokyo Olympic Games is likely to start from March-end. The Sports Ministry has reportedly requested the Union Health Ministry to place athletes as well as the coaches and staffs in the priority category for vaccination. A blue-print has already been prepared on how to go about the vaccination for Olympic-bound athletes.
So far, 74 athletes from India have secured qualification to the Olympics which are scheduled to begin from July 23 in 2021 after being postponed from the initial 2020 dates. Out of the 74, 15 are shooters, 4 are archers, 32 are hockey players, 4 are wrestlers, 9 are boxers, 5 are track and field athletes and there is 1 equestrian player.
Approval from Health Ministry awaited
Speaking about the vaccination plan, “The Sports Ministry has formally requested the Union Health Ministry to place Tokyo Olympics-bound Indian athletes on priority list. We have already chalked out a plan for the two-phased vaccination of athletes, coaches and support staff,” a ministry official reportedly told PTI.
“Right now, we are waiting to hear from the Health Ministry. As and when they give us the green signal, we will start executing our plan. We intend to start vaccination of Olympic qualifying athletes from March end,” he added.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju had stated earlier that the vaccine will be given first to frontline workers and medial professionals before being given for athletes and the same is expected to be followed and a decision will be made by the Health Ministry.