ÖOC confident about vaccination of Tokyo athletes in May

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ÖOC confident about vaccination of Tokyo athletes in May

Austria's Olympic athletes are hoping for a timely corona vaccination

The Austrian Olympic Committee (ÖOC) is confident that there will be a corona vaccination for the red-white-red participants in the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in good time before the major event. According to the information in a press conference on Wednesday with the professional associations, a plan will be drawn up with the professional associations as to when the vaccinations will be administered.

“We have received the order from the Ministry of Sports to work together with the associations and to draw up this plan so that we can get these athletes safely to Tokyo,” said ÖOC General Secretary Peter Mennel in Vienna. “There has been movement in the matter in the last few days. We hope that at the beginning of May – after all high-risk patients have been vaccinated – we can start vaccinating athletes – in cooperation with the armed forces.”

Much depends, of course, on how training courses and competitions can be planned into this procedure. Mennel: “It makes no sense to vaccinate an athlete the day before the competition because we know that there will be vaccination reactions. But we are confident that the plan that is being drawn up can really be followed.” The medical centers of the armed forces would be included in the planning for the vaccinations.

Mennel admitted, however, that the time available is running out. Many athletes had also stated that they would no longer be vaccinated from June onwards. “We have been working at full speed since the beginning of January. The clock is ticking,” emphasized Mennel. “It's already 12, not to say a minute later. Because Johnson & Johnson could be vaccinated, only one vaccination would be required. AstraZeneca, where we have a long gap in between, we would have to decline today. Because that would be the vaccination today already too late.”

The administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is planned, the European market launch of which was stopped on Tuesday due to the occasional occurrence of thrombosis in the USA. That's why there is no headache at the ÖOC. “I don't know of any vaccine where there were no cases,” said ÖOC President Karl Stoss when asked by the APA – Austria Press Agency. “For us this is a matter for the medical commission. We are not medical professionals.” The risk of thrombosis is very low.

From the ÖOC's point of view, those who are not yet qualified should not fall by the wayside when it comes to vaccination. “We hope and are very confident that we can also include those who are on the verge of the Olympics, so to speak, in this campaign,” said Mennel. In many other countries, all Tokyo participants have already been vaccinated. On the occasion of 100 days before the opening of the Games, there were positive signals from New Zealand, Australia and Poland on Wednesday after many countries.

The majority of Austria's Olympic athletes are also hoping for a vaccination soon. “I am very clear that I want to be vaccinated,” said swimmer Marlene Kahler. “I would be much safer there. As an athlete, you are afraid that you will not be vaccinated until the Olympic Games and that you will be corona-positive two days before that. That would be a huge catastrophe for me personally. We are all standing in line and don't want each other push ahead. ” Judoka Stephan Hegyi argued similarly.

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