The 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics were postponed to summer 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and details of the event are still being finalized as the pandemic continues throughout the world. The International Olympic Committee announced Tuesday that officials are urging athletes to receive the COVID-19 vaccine before participating in the games.
Here's part of the IOC announcement:
"When vaccination is made available to a broader public, the IOC calls for Olympic and Paralympic teams to be vaccinated given their role as ambassadors of their NOCs and given the role of sport 'to promote safe sport as a contributor to the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.'"
The IOC continued, saying it will work to keep everyone safe for the games, and one way to do that is to ask those attending to get vaccinated before arriving. Here's more:
"The IOC will work with the NOCs to encourage and assist their athletes, officials and stakeholders to get vaccinated in their home countries, in line with national immunization guidelines, before they go to Japan. This is to contribute to the safe environment of the Games, but also out of respect for the Japanese people, who should be confident that everything is being done to protect not only the participants but also the Japanese people themselves."
The IOC made a clarification that "vulnerable groups, nurses [and] medical doctors" should get priority for the vaccine, but once the vaccine is available to the public they want the "Olympic and Paralympic teams to be vaccinated given their role as ambassadors."
The Games are set to begin on July 23, and while some have their concerns and hesitations that they will not begin on time, or even at all, Tokyo Olympic president Yoshiro Mori is hopeful the event will begin safely on time.
The 2021 Olympics and Paralympics will have new health and safety guidelines including testing and contact tracing.