The third Irish Covid-19 lockdown is likely to give rise to even more Irish Olympic and Paralympic athletes taking the vaccine, according to Sport Ireland Institute Director Liam Harbison.
Sport Ireland today published a comprehensive review of the work of the Sport Ireland Institute in 2020, which details the extensive impact of Covid-19 on the High Performance system.
A survey conducted last December, in association with the Olympic Federation of Ireland, found that 83% of elite Irish athletes said they will take the vaccine.
Just over 4% have said they won't take it, while just under 13% have said they are unsure if they will.
Liam Harbison, CEO Sport Ireland Institute, is hopeful that the natural rollout of vaccines will see Ireland's Olympic and Paralympic team immunised before #tokyo2020 @sportireland #rtesport pic.twitter.com/up2ghLZczX— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) March 15, 2021
A positive case between now and July will keep a Tokyo hopeful who hasn't been vaccinated out of action for 30 days in the run-up to the Games in July, but Harbison says given the survey was carried out before the third wave, he would expect an increase in the number of athletes willing to take the vaccine.
"With the rollout of the vaccine, our sense is the (willingness to take it) has increased since then. Athletes seem willing to take the vaccine.
"The IOC has been clear and it's well known that it will not be mandatory for attending the Games.
"I know a number of the back-up team particularly, the medical team and physios, a lot of them have been vaccinated already, and a number of the team based in the North have also been vaccinated, so we are hopeful that the natural rollout will mean that the team will be immunised before the Games."
A comprehensive review was carried out into the work of the Sport Ireland Institute in 2020, which details the extensive impact of Covid-19 on the High Performance system.
Key among the changes last year saw the majority of interaction moved online, with support at international camps and competitions dropping to near zero.
However, extensive Covid-19 counter-measures adopted by the Sport Ireland Institute focused on maintaining and improving athlete and staff health and well-being.