Australia weighing whether or not to let athletes soar vaccine queue By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A lady holds a medical syringe and a small bottle labelled “Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia is contemplating whether or not to prioritise athletes and assist employees within the COVID-19 vaccine rollout with the Tokyo Olympics quick approaching.

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has requested the federal government to permit athletes to leap the queue because the nation’s nationwide vaccine program struggles with roadblocks.

“The federal government is in direct contact with the AOC over its proposal to precedence vaccinate all Olympic staff athletes and assist employees,” sports activities minister Richard Colbeck advised state broadcaster ABC.

Australia has restricted the rollout of its favoured AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:) vaccine to individuals below 50 over blood clotting issues, slowing the nationwide vaccination programme additional after the European Union blocked exports to the nation.

Only one.36 million vaccine doses had been administered as of Wednesday, far behind the 4 million pledged by the tip of March.

The Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony is slated for July 23, although with Japan set to increase quasi-emergency measures to 10 areas as a fourth wave of COVID-19 circumstances spreads doubts have been raised as as to if the Video games will go forward.

Australian authorities advocate individuals who obtain the primary dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine have a booster after 12 weeks to maximise immunity.

For the Pfizer (NYSE:) vaccine, which Australia can be using, authorities advocate a booster after three weeks.

Swimming Australia Chief Govt Alex Baumann mentioned on Thursday the nation’s Tokyo-bound swimmers ought to put together themselves for the state of affairs the place they miss out on vaccines.

Australia’s Olympic chef de mission Ian Chesterman advised Reuters in March that the staff didn’t need to “be leaping the queue” within the rollout.

An AOC spokesman mentioned it was within the “finest pursuits of our Australian athletes” to reach in Tokyo safely and return safely.

“Vaccination is a vital ingredient in that ambition,” the spokesman mentioned in a press release.

Colbeck mentioned the federal government’s focus was on its vaccine roadmap, which is at the moment within the preliminary section of vaccinating healthcare and important employees, adults over 70 and different weak teams.

“Making certain weak Australians are vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 first stays the precedence for the Morrison authorities,” he mentioned.

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