Vaccination of Olympic and SEA Games-bound athletes set for Friday

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 25 2021 12:08 PM | Updated as of May 25 2021 01:14 PM

Vaccination of Olympic and SEA Games-bound athletes set for Friday 1

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) Athletes, coaches, and other members of the Philippine delegation bound for the Tokyo Olympics in Japan and the Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam will be vaccinated on Friday at the Manila Prince Hotel.

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino confirmed the development during Tuesday's Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum. 

Inoculation will start at 9 a.m.

"Ang good news po ngayon ay, inapruba na rin po ang ating vaccination day sa Friday. Exclusive for Olympic-bound delegates and SEA Games-bound delegates," he said. 

"Maghapon po 'yan, at gaganapin po sa Manila Prince Hotel sa Biyernes po. So kasama po lahat, coaches, athletes, officials," he added.

This comes after Vietnam announced a "no vaccine, no participation" policy for the 31st SEA Games that will take place in Hanoi from November 21 to December 2. 

The POC is currently coordinating with the various national sports associations to come up with a list of athletes and coaches who will be receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. 

"Of course, Olympic-bound, kaunti lang naman po 'yun. All Vietnam-bound, maybe less than a thousand. Definitely, sasabak tayo sa Vietnam because of that vaccination policy," said Tolentino.

Of the Olympic-bound athletes, only weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and boxer Eumir Marcial are confirmed to have been vaccinated already. Nine Filipino athletes have qualified for the Tokyo Games: Diaz; boxers Marcial, Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio, and Carlo Paalam; pole vaulter EJ Obiena; gymnast Carlos Yulo; rower Cris Nievarez; and taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa.

Meanwhile, the POC in March said 626 athletes will represent the Philippines in the Hanoi SEA Games later this year.

Para athletes will also be included in the vaccination program.

The POC did not identify what brand of vaccine will be given to the Philippine delegation.

"Ang kasabihan natin (is) the best vaccine is the available vaccine," said Tolentino. "(So) regardless of what brand it is, kunin na natin."

The POC will coordinate with the NSAs on when the athletes and coaches can receive the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

"Definitely, 'pag nagbigay ng first dose, the second dose is guaranteed. Whether what brand it is, meron lang weeks 'yun, days, kung ilan. Definitely kasunod 'yun," Tolentino guaranteed.

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