Gov’t urged to give vaccine priority to PH athletes bound for Olympics, SEA Games

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MANILA, Philippines — Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero is urging the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases to classify national athletes who are set to compete or are eyeing for a slot in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) as frontliners so they could be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination.

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Under House Resolution No. 1507 filed Tuesday, Romero pointed out that this year, the Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 while SEA Games will be held from November 21 to December 2 in Vietnam.

Qualifying stages for the two major sporting events will happen as early as April and May this year, said Romero.

“It is imperative that our national athletes should be classified as frontliners, in order to prioritize their vaccination against COVID-19 in the soonest possible time, to ensure that they will be allowed to participate in the qualifying stages,” Romero said in the resolution.

Romero said national athletes devote their physical state for training to further enhance their craft and to bring honor and glory to the country.

“The State recognizes the importance of Sports development to foster social progress, and promote total human development. The State also recognizes the tireless and selfless sacrifice of our national athletes,” Romero said.

Currently, some of the national athletes who are already qualified and are preparing for the qualifiers, most of which were postponed last year due to the coronavirus, are housed in a training bubble in Laguna.

National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 chief and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said some Filipinos may be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of February.

Philippine Sports Commission earlier said that it did not ask the government to prioritize athletes for COVID-19 vaccination.

However, PSC said it will ask for assistance if the Tokyo 2020 organizers require attending athletes to be vaccinated ahead of the Summer Games.


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