By Farrokh Hesabi

Olympians, Paralympians among priority groups to receive COVID-19 vaccine: official

April 14, 2021 - 18:50

TEHRAN - Gholamreza Norouzi, head of Iran’s Sports Medicine, confirmed that no one except the athletes and officials who will participate in the 2020 Olympic Gemas received a COVID-19 vaccine.

On April 13, the athletes' vaccination started with cooperation between the Iran National Olympic Committee (NOC) and the Sports Medicine Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Dr. Norouzi stated that the Olympians and Paralympians are eligible to jump the queue for the COVID-19 vaccine. It was authorized by the country’s health officials, Iran’s NOC, and the Ministry of Sports and Youth.

“There is no possibility that someone except the athletes and the executive people of Iran’s Olympic delegation to be vaccinated,” Norouzi said when asked about the rumors of some non-athlete’s vaccination.

“The process is done based on each person's national ID number and the announced list by the NOC. So, every step of the vaccination process could be scrutinized and controlled by the authorities,” he added.

Norouzi also mentioned that: “The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has not made it mandatory for the Olympians to be vaccinated against COVID-19. It is, however, recommended when available in athletes’ home countries.

“Fortunately, Iran’s domestic vaccination has already started slowly. Olympians and Paralympians are among the priority groups after medical workers and high-risk people,” Dr. Norouzi said.

Iran administered the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine “Sinopharm” to athletes, staff, and journalists in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“The vaccination is not limited to the athletes who will participate at Olympic Games, but the athletes who are participating in Olympic qualifiers and those who are at training camps as an alternative, are included in the list of athletes vaccination,” added the head of National Headquarter of Administrating the coronavirus at Sports.

The Paralympians were vaccinated against COVID-19 at the Iran Sports Federation for the Disabled headquarters last week.

“There are 292 people on the Olympic delegation list, of whom 185 have been vaccinated so far. Also, 145 names are on the Paralympic list, 115 of whom have been vaccinated. The remaining athletes and staff should be vaccinated in the coming days,” Dr. Norouzi concluded.

A total of 58 Olympic berths have been secured by Iranian athletes in 12 sports so far, and there are still more spots to grab for the country at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

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