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Athletes set to be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines under House resolution
Empty syringes sit in a box waiting to be filled with vaccine at a vaccination center in Londonderry, New Hampshire on February 4, 2021.
AFP/Joseph Prezioso

Athletes set to be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines under House resolution

Xave Gregorio (Philstar.com) - February 23, 2021 - 12:44pm

MANILA, Philippines — The House Sports and Youth Development Committee approved Tuesday a resolution calling on the government to prioritize athletes who would participate in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and the Southeast Asian Games for COVID-19 vaccines.

With the approval of the resolution, it will now go to the plenary where the House can either adopt or reject it. If adopted, the resolution will express the opinion of the chamber on the issue, but would have no force and effect of law.

During the hearing on the proposal by Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero (1-PACMAN party-list), panel chair Rep. Faustino Michael Carlos Dy (Isabela) called on the government to include Olympic and Souteast Asian Games athletes in the priority list for coronavirus shots.

Philippine Sports Commission chairman William Ramirez, however, said that while they have called on the government’s pandemic task force to support athletes’ vaccination against COVID-19, they do not want to jump the line.

“We are requesting support from the IATF for the much needed COVID-19 vaccines but without skipping the most vulnerable frontliners,” Ramirez told the committee.

He added that even if athletes were to be prioritized, they cannot be forced to take the vaccine. The logistics of how athletes who are training abroad would be inoculated also remained unanswered.

Currently, Olympic and SEA Games athletes are not in the priority list for the scarce and coveted shots, doses of which have yet to arrive in the Philippines.

LIST: Priority population groups for COVID-19 vaccination

The International Olympic Committee has said that athletes and officials taking part in the Tokyo Games would not be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

2020 TOKYO OLYMPICS 2021 VIETNAM SEA GAMES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
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