POC: Vaccine for all athletes, officials

Published May 31, 2021, 12:57 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Athletes receive their first dose of Sinovac vaccine last May 28 at the Manila Prince Hotel in Ermita, Manila. (Photo by Manny Llanes)

All national athletes, coaches and officials can now get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Bambol Tolentino announced this Monday, May 31, following the successful inoculation of Olympic- and Southeast Asian Games -bound delegates last Friday at the Manila Prince Hotel in Ermita, Manila.

This means the next round of vaccine rollout will now be available to all athletes, coaches and officials, whether or not they are competing in the Tokyo Olympics or the Vietnam SEAG.

“The vaccination of all national athletes, whether or not they are going to the Tokyo Olympics or the Southeast Asian Games, is a relief to Philippine sports,” Tolentino said after receiving the news from deputy chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 Vince Dizon.

More than half of the 730 registered delegates bound for SEAG and Olympics got their first dose of the Sinovac vaccine three days ago.

Among those who got vaccinated were Olympic-bound rower Cris Nievarez and Paralympic-bound swimmer Ernie Gawilan, as well as members of the volleyball and basketball teams.

Tolentino said those who were not able to get inoculated that day can get their shots done in the next round.

The date and venue of the next inoculation will be finalized soon.

Around 800 more athletes and coaches will benefit from this development as there are close to 1,600 total delegates in the Philippine Sports Commission roster.

Last May 18, Tolentino wrote the Inter-Agency Task Force through Health Secretary Francisco Duque III requesting for the inoculation of Olympic- and SEAG-bound athletes. It was approved on May 24, with the vaccine rollouts happening last May 28.