Union Ministry for Youth Affairs and Sports has requested the Health Ministry to put Tokyo Olympic-bound athletes on priority for the coronavirus vaccine.
“We have requested the Health Ministry to put athletes on priority. As of now, we are awaiting their reply. Once they respond, we will start the execution. There is still time for the Olympics and we are hopeful that we will be able to do it. We are having discussions with all concerned departments regarding this and we are working on it,” a source in the Sports Ministry told ANI. Earlier, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju had said that Olympic-bound athletes will be given priority for vaccine and they will seek guidance and advice from the Health Ministry.
Also, last month, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra had said that vaccination of Olympic-bound athletes is their topmost priority.
“We are having discussions with all concerned departments including Health Ministry, Sports Ministry and NADA. We are very much on track and we hope very soon will come up with a proper plan for it,” Batra had said.
When asked about the timeline, he had said: “As of now, discussions are on. Once everything is fine-tuned will let you know. As of now, I can only say that vaccination of our athletes is our topmost priority and we are working on it.”
The postponed Tokyo Olympics is scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021, while the Paralympics will take place from August 24 to September 5, 2021.