Tokyo 2020 organizers can't pin Olympic hopes on vaccines alone, experts warn

Distribution of COVID-19 vaccines has featured significantly in discussions about whether the Tokyo Olympics are often held safely this summer.

Experts, however, say organizers should steel oneself against the Games no matter the vaccine rollouts, and instead confirm that they need enough polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests to conduct on athletes, coaches and staff on a day to day.

Vaccination rollouts have already begun in several countries, with medical workers, older people and people with underlying medical conditions frequently being prioritized. The method is predicted to start in Japan later this month.

So where do Olympic athletes slot in , and will vaccinating them be a priority?

Last week, there were reports the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was working with the planet Health Organization (WHO) to urge all Olympic-bound athletes to be vaccinated. Yet a few days later, the WHO said athletes shouldn’t expect to leap to the front of the road .

The IOC also said last week that it had been recommending athletes and officials be vaccinated before arriving in Japan for the games, which were postponed by a year thanks to the pandemic.

A pair of doctors who spoke recently with The Japan Times both questioned why these discussions were even happening , because whether or not the games are often held and therefore the availability of vaccines are subjects that, in their view, should be discussed separately.

Tetsuo Nakayama, a project professor at Kitasato Institute for all times Sciences and director of the japanese Society of Clinical Virology, said it wouldn't be ideal to organize for the games under the idea vaccines are going to be available for athletes.

There also are reports saying countries are scrambling to get vaccines, which the vaccination schedule in Japan might be delayed also .

Nakayama doesn’t think vaccinating athletes before the overall public are going to be a priority.

“It’s only a problem for those who are associated with the Olympics,” Nakayama told The Japan Times in a Zoom call last week. “And when it comes down to the Olympics, it’s not just the athletes who are participating but others — like people who support the athletes, and people working at the Athletes Village. So i think it’s strange to think of hosting the Olympics assuming there would be vaccinations (for all those people).”

While some might imagine vaccines will eradicate the pandemic, Nakayama cautions that they won’t necessarily cause a fast resolution because the security of the vaccines has got to be evaluated.

Dr. Dhillon Randeep

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