To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the need to prioritise elite athletes to receive the covid-19 vaccine in the context of (a) the Olympic Games and (b) other world wide sporting events in 2021.
20 October 2020
The Government’s vaccines portfolio ensures we have the best chance of accessing a safe and effective vaccine for people in the UK as soon as one becomes available. We are also working on deployment plans in the event that a safe, effective vaccine is discovered.
We are vigorously pursuing efforts on vaccines, therapeutics and mass testing to return conditions to normal as soon as possible. In terms of a vaccine, there are several encouraging trials but it is likely to be well into 2021 until one can be widely deployed. Our strategy will continue to be shaped by the work of our brilliant scientists.
We know this is a challenging period for all sports and the Government remains committed to supporting our elite athletes. Olympic and Paralympic sport is not immune from the impact of Covid-19 and we will continue to work with UK Sport and other sports bodies in ensuring that our elite athletes are well supported in this difficult period to ensure that Team GB and ParalympicsGB are ready for the Tokyo Games and other world wide sporting events when they do take place in 2021.
The English Institute of Sport’s world-class support for our athletes has been maintained during the current epidemic. Team GB’s historic medal haul in Rio was an amazing achievement and our athletes made the country incredibly proud. I am confident that this success will continue through to Tokyo next summer.