Japan May Prioritise Olympic Athletes For Vaccine: Reports
Sumaira FH 8 days ago Thu 08th April 2021 | 09:40 AM
Tokyo, April 8 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 8th Apr, 2021 ) :Japan is considering prioritising its Olympic athletes for coronavirus vaccines, aiming to get them innoculated before the pandemic-postponed Tokyo Games open on July 23, local media said Thursday.
Japan's government denied any such plan was being considered, but said it would be "closely watching discussions" about protecting athletes' health.
The reported move sparked criticism online, with one Japanese Twitter user demanding: "Give it to my granny first!" Japan's vaccine rollout is moving slowly, with just one million first doses given so far to medical workers since jabs began in February.
A date has not yet been set for vaccinating the broader population, but the government is now considering giving Japanese athletes both shots by late June, Kyodo news agency reported, citing unnamed government sources.
Private broadcaster Nippon tv and other media also reported the plan, with some pointing out that the proposed timeline would mean healthy young athletes would finish their inoculations before some of Japan's elderly.
Online, the reports were met with criticism, with one Japanese Twitter user calling on "all the athletes to come out and say they won't do this." "Will you thank the old and sick people who died because their vaccines were late for giving their lives for the Olympics?" asked another.
Japan has seen a comparatively small virus outbreak, with just over 9,200 deaths since the pandemic began.
Polling shows a majority of Japanese want to see the Games cancelled or postponed further, though support for holding it this year has increased slightly, hovering below 30 percent.