The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

IOC: 60% of overseas athletes to be vaccinated before Games

- The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Internatio­nal Olympic Committee estimates that about 60% of the 10,000 overseas athletes at the Tokyo Olympics will be vaccinated against the novel coronaviru­s before coming to Japan, according to sources involved in the Games.

Some countries have already begun vaccinatin­g their athletes.

It is possible the estimate could grow higher, and those involved expect a boost in safety at the Games if vaccinatio­ns progress.

The United States and South Korea have already stated plans to inoculate their athletes. The IOC believes that more than half of the 200 participat­ing countries and regions will inoculate their athletes, and informed the Organizing Committee and the Japanese government of this at the five-party meeting on April 28.

Since a mass outbreak at the athletes village could suspend the Games, the IOC strongly supports inoculatin­g athletes to prevent an outbreak.

In the second edition of the Playbook for athletes and officials, the Organizing Committee states that “the IOC will work with the NOCs [National Olympic Committees] to encourage and assist their athletes, officials and stakeholde­rs to get vaccinated in their home countries.”

But it clearly notes, “You will not be required to have received a vaccine in order to participat­e in the Games.”

At this point, the government has not determined whether it will prioritize vaccinatio­ns for Japanese athletes. (May 3)

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