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Include athletes in vaccine priority list — solon

A House panel has given the thumbs up to a proposal to include Filipino athletes in the priority list for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination.

To be submitted in the plenary for House concurrence is House Resolution 1507, filed by Deputy Speaker Michael “Mikee” Romero, which states that Filipino athletes could also be considered as frontliners.

The House committee on youth and sports approved the resolution which seeks to include Filipino athletes, especially those vying for international competition, in the priority list for COVID-19 jab.

Romero underscored the need for the athletes to be given the shots as they are already preparing for the incoming Tokyo Olympics, SEA Games, and other international sporting events.

Romero’s resolution urges the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases to classify national athletes who are set to compete or are vying 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.

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.

“A national athlete devotes his physical state for training to further enhance his/her chosen craft. Their main focus is to bring honor and glory to our country. They practice extraordinary discipline and rigorous training since the day they started the sport until they eventually retire from it,” Romero said.

Romero, also an athlete, said the Filipino athletes will undergo qualifying stages for the Tokyo Olympics and South East Asian Gams as early as April and May of this year

The House leader said it is imperative that national athletes should be classified as frontliners, in order to prioritize their vaccination against COVID-19 at the soonest possible time, to ensure that they will be allowed to participate in the qualifying stages.

“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.

The resolution will now be transmitted to the plenary for further consideration.