IOC to recommend suitable COVID-19 vaccines for Nigerian athletes, others

World body to donate medicals to NOC

Although the Federal Government has settled for AstraZeneca vaccine as the choice jab for the country, Nigerian athletes billed for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games may be forced to take only the shot recommended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) at the weekend told reporters that the IOC has the sole responsibility of recommending the vaccine variance suitable for athletes from different parts of the world ahead of the Olympics scheduled for Japan in July.

The NOC said the IOC, which is currently working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) on safety requirements for the Games, would in due time make the final recommendation to member countries on the right COVID-19 vaccination for athletes.

According to the NOC Media Officer, Phemmy Adetula, the IOC’s stance on the vaccines is to ensure that athletes adhere strictly to legal drug requirements.

“The IOC will hold its Congress soon and at the meeting decide on the brand of vaccines that will not have side effects on the athletes. The IOC is working closely with WHO to reach a resolution on this. Their decision will be communicated to NOC immediately after the congress.

“I don’t think any Nigerian athlete would be forced to take the vaccines, but if it is compulsory in Japan, the athletes would have no choice but to take it there.”

Adetula disclosed that the IOC would donate vaccines to countries participating at the Olympics, adding that jabs meant for Nigeria will arrive in the country ahead of the Games.

It will be recalled that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year forced the postponement of Tokyo 2020 Olympics, for the first time in its history. The opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will now hold on July 23, 2021.

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