Melbourne [Australia], April 27 (ANI): Australia's National Cabinet on Tuesday agreed to grant Australian Olympic athletes and staff heading to Japan, access to Covid-19 vaccines.
As a result, approximately 2,050 Australians identified by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and Paralympics Australia will be able to take the vaccinations, reported CNN.
The vaccine rollout in Australia has been dealing with relays with around 1.78 million doses administered to a population of more than 25 million as of last week.
"We want to see our athletes head to Tokyo to compete and then return to Australia safely," CNN quoted Greg Hunt, Australia's Minister for Health and Aged Care.
On the other hand, Richard Colbeck, Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services and Minister for Sport, said that vulnerable Australians still remain "an absolute priority" for vaccination.
Australia Olympic Committee also welcomed the decision of the Federal government. AOC CEO Matt Carroll said that the announcement provides comfort and certainty for the athletes and officials travelling to Tokyo to represent their country.
"My personal thanks to Health Minister Greg Hunt and Sports Minister Richard Colbeck for their support and commitment -- and of course to National Cabinet for making this important decision. There will be hundreds of very grateful athletes, coaches and their families relieved to know that their hard work over five years has been worth it. This added layer of assurance is what they were seeking," said Carroll in an official statement.
"The AOC will be working with our partners Aspen Medical on the logistics to ensure the vaccination of our athletes does not place any additional load on the public system," it added.
The Australian Team travelling to Tokyo is likely to consist of between 450-480 athletes competing in more than 30 sports. Tokyo Olympics will take place from July 23 to August 8 this year. The Games were slated to take place last year, but it had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (ANI)