Israel to vaccinate athletes for Tokyo Games by May

(Reuters) - Israel intends to have all its athletes due to compete at the Tokyo Olympics vaccinated against COVID-19 by May, its National Olympic Committee said on Wednesday, amid global debate over whether athletes should be given priority access in the rollout.

Global coronavirus cases surpassed 100 million on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, as countries around the world struggle with new virus variants and vaccine shortfalls.

Israel, however, currently leads the world on per capita vaccinations, having inoculated 29% of its population with at least one dose.

"As part of the Israel vaccination for corona procedure already 50% of all the Israel Olympic athletes delegation to Tokyo have been vaccinated," a Committee spokeswoman told Reuters in an email.

"By the end of May 2021, all ...will be completely vaccinated against the coronavirus."

Much of Japan is under a state of emergency due to a third wave of COVID-19 infections, but organisers have vowed to press ahead with the Games, which are due to open on July 23 after being postponed for a year because of the pandemic.

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by John Stonestreet and Alex Richardson)

01/27/2021 11:33

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