"A flu vaccine will prevent athletes from getting sick for a year. Hence, their health conditions would be protected," Mulyana, the ministry`s deputy IV of sport development, stated in Jakarta.
He added that the ministry will host a sharing session with the national athletes to familiarize them on the importance of avoiding doping as well as getting vaccinated to tackle influenza.
"We will partner up with the Indonesia Anti Doping Agency (LADI), and the sharing session will be hosted to introduce medications that carry doping substances," Mulyana noted.
Meanwhile, Edi Nurindra Susila, the National Center of Sciences, Technology, and Sport Health Chairman, remarked that the athletes may get infected by flu because of the unhealthy climate, eating pattern, and daily habits.
"A mild flu may affect the athlete`s performance, and once a person gets infected, others will also be threatened (by the virus)," Susila stressed.
Hence, during April to July period, the ministry will provide vaccines for all the national athletes.
"We will visit every sport national training center, and the vaccine will be free of charge," he added.
The ministry has targeted to protect some 1.1 thousand national athletes ahead of the 18th Asian Games, which will be hosted in the two cities, namely Jakarta and Palembang.
Following the plan, the lifter athlete manager, Dirdja Wihardja, pointed out that the flu vaccine will increase the immunity of the players amid the climate transition.
"Our athletes will be physically protected by the vaccine, because influenza may lower their performance during training and competition," he noted.
Hence, Wihardja expressed hope that the ministry will immediately take the plan into a concrete action.
Reported by Imam Santoso