Story at a glance
- All U.S. athletes competing at the winter Olympics in China next month are fully vaccinated.
- Last September, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee implemented a vaccine requirement for all employees and athletes.
- Booster shots are not included within the vaccine requirement.
The Winter Olympics are just few short weeks away in China and a top U.S. Olympic doctor confirmed the 200-plus Team USA is fully vaccinated, with no athletes requesting a medical or religious exemption.
Chief medical officer Jonathan Finnoff told The Associated Press that the 21-day mandated quarantine period that hosts are requiring for unvaccinated athletes along with vaccination education, “really resonated with the athletes.”
In September, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) implemented a vaccine requirement for all employees, athletes, contractors, and others to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or obtain a medical or religious exemption. Booster shots were not required to meet USOPC’s vaccine requirement.
The requirement was later extended to include all Team USA delegation members or hopefuls for future Olympic games.
“Vaccination is sort of the foundation of our COVID mitigation protocol,” Finnoff told the AP.
Ahead of the Tokyo Summer Olympics last year, Finnoff estimated that 100 of the more than 600 Americans competing were not vaccinated at the time.
The winter Olympics will be held in Beijing from Feb. 4- 20.
Finnoff’s comments come just as two athletes tested positive for COVID-19 during the Olympic test events, according to the deputy director of the pandemic prevention office for the games. The identities of the two athletes were not revealed, nor their home countries.
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