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Athletes, who will be participating at the Olympic Games, will be allowed to jump the queue and get vaccinated against COVID-19.

This was announced by the South African Medical Research Council in a statement. The Council said that it had been granted permission by the Health Product Regulatory Authority to make available, to the athletes, the remaining Johnson & Johnson vaccines left over from an earlier "Sisonke Study" rollout before they expire.

The Olympic Games was postponed last year due to the pandemic, but it has since been announced that Japan will host the Games from 23 July to 8 August.

At first, it was uncertain whether the 2021 version of the Games would still take place. This was after the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese authorities were called upon to further postpone or cancel the event due to the third wave and its increasing positive cases.

Reuters reports that South Africa has been the hardest-hit country in Africa by COVID-19, with well over 50,000 deaths and 1.5 million confirmed cases. Our vaccination campaign has had a slow start. Phase 1 of the rollout saw close to 480,000 people vaccinated, while Phase 2, which began in May, has seen 171,860 vaccinations.

Watch the eNCA video below for more on the South African athletes who have been granted permission to get vaccinated ahead of the Olympic Games.

Image credit: Slash Gear

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