Athletes from 40 branches of sports get COVID jab

Athletes from 40 branches of sports get COVID jab

Youth and Sports Minister, Zainudin Amali (center), holding a press conference in Jakarta on February 26, 2021. (ANTARA/Shofi Ayudiana)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Athletes, coaches, and support staff from 40 branches of sports were administered the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the first phase of the immunization program for athletes at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium here on Friday.

Athletes scheduled to compete in national and international championships in the near future, such as the All England Open, the Menpora Cup pre-season soccer tournament, and the Tokyo Olympics, were the first to be vaccinated, Youth and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali said after observing the vaccination activities on Friday.

"Today's vaccines take precedence for those who are in the national training team or those who are preparing for tournament activities in the near future, such as preparing for the Tokyo Olympics and the SEA Games," the minister informed.

“Later, we will also expand to our athletes in 34 provinces who are currently preparing for the National Sports Week (PON)," he added.

Athletes from as many as 40 sports received the vaccine on Friday, including badminton, football, weightlifting, athletics, swimming, basketball, bicycle racing, besides the National Paralympic Committee (NPC).

Zainudin said he hopes that the vaccine would provide protection to athletes and coaches, and increase their self-confidence in the current COVID-19 pandemic situation.

Indonesian swimmer I Gede Siman Sudartawa, who was one of the vaccine recipients in the first phase of the immunization program, thanked the government for prioritizing athletes. He also asked Indonesians to not be afraid of getting inoculated against COVID-19.

The government is targeting around five thousand athletes, sport officials, and support personnel in the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination program for sportsmen.

Vaccinations for athletes living outside Jakarta will be coordinated with the Ministry of Health and local health offices. (INE)

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