Sumary of Japan denies planning to prioritise Olympic athletes for Covid vaccine:
- Japan government moved to cool a social media furore by saying it was not looking to prioritise Covid-19 vaccines for Olympic athletes, dismissing a media report that said it was considering the option..
- Japan vaccination drive is far behind that of most major economies, with only one vaccine approved and roughly 1 million people having received a first dose since February, even as the country struggles with a rising number of new cases..
- The Kyodo news agency report claiming the government was considering the vaccine plan provoked outrage on social media, with many commentators noting that the original government plans for vaccinations gave priority to medical workers, elderly people and those with chronic conditions, with ordinary citizens unlikely to get theirs before the summer..
- According to government officials quoted by Kyodo late on Wednesday, however, the government has begun looking into the possibility of making sure its Olympic and Paralympic athletes have had both shots by the end of June – so they have enough time to recover by the 23 July opening of the Games..
- Kyodo reported that discussions with the Japanese Olympic and Paralympic committees were just beginning, and they had not decided whether all Japanese athletes or only those competing in certain events would be eligible for inoculation, it cited an official as saying, while voicing concern that including coaches and other staff could invite public criticism….