With only two months to go before the Tokyo Olympic Games’ Opening Ceremony, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) recently announced its offer to make available vaccine doses to all athletes of member countries that are participating in the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The vaccination of athletes is not compulsory, however this offer is a further intervention to ensure safe delivery of the Games.
To facilitate the implementation of the offer by the IOC/IPC, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) has concluded engagement and protocols with our Department of Sport, Arts and Culture as well as the Department of Health, to roll out vaccines to the full Team SA delegation that have been accredited (the long list) for the Tokyo Games.
The roll out commenced with a test phase on 20 May, at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, where 31 accredited Team SA members were vaccinated.
The roll out is gaining momentum and will fully commence on Monday, 24 May 2021 at various vaccination sites throughout the country. The medical team from the Department of Health as well as SASCOC staff, are working together to contact the athletes and arrange vaccination dates and times to ensure that an efficient and smooth process is maintained.
The roll out of vaccinations to Team SA is independent of and does not disrupt nor place any burden on the Government’s program to roll out vaccinations to the South African Public.
‘Engagement with government to vaccinate our athletes had long since commenced. The offer from the IOC/IPC is therefore in line with SASCOC’s position that we take every precaution to ensure the safety of our athletes in delivering Team SA to the Tokyo Games. We are grateful for the support and facilitation by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and the Department of Health as well as the generosity of the IOC/IPC,’ commented the SASCOC Acting CEO, Mr Ravi Govender.