Australian Olympians and Paralympians will JUMP the vaccine queue so they are protected before the Tokyo Olympics begins
Australian athletes destined for the Tokyo Olympic Games will be prioritised for vaccination.
National cabinet on Tuesday agreed about 2050 athletes and support staff would be vaccinated under priority group 1b, which includes health care workers, Indigenous Australians aged over 55 and elderly people over 70.
Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Richard Colbeck said the measure would not come at the cost of vulnerable Australians.
“While vulnerable Australians remain an absolute priority as the vaccine rollout continues, National Cabinet understands the pressure our high-performance athletes have been facing as the Tokyo Games draw closer,” he said in a statement.
“We want to see our athletes head to Tokyo to compete and then return to Australia safely,” Health Minister Greg Hunt added.
Some 1,969,337 vaccine doses have been administered in Australia, 205,203 of which were doled out in aged and disability care facilities.
Members of the team aged over 50 will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, while those under 50 will be jabbed with Pfizer.
The Tokyo Olympics will run from July 23 to August 8, after they were postponed in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Athletes headed to the Paralympic Games, which will run from August 24 to September 5, will also be jabbed early.