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OCA, POC ramp up athletes’ vaccination

Ian Suyu



National athletes will finally realize their dream of being inoculated before seeing action in the 31st Southeast Asian Games this November.

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) treasurer Cynthia Carrion confirmed yesterday that the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has wired a $40,000 subsidy for the inoculation of athletes getting ready for the biennial meet in by Hanoi.

“It’s true, the POC has received $40,000 for the vaccination of the athletes,” Carrion told the Daily Tribune.

According to Carrion, they have yet to discuss their plans for the procurement of the vaccine, as POC first vice president Al Panlilio has been appointed as the chairman of the task force on vaccine procurement.

Carrion also said the POC’s main task right now is to identify which pharmaceutical company could provide the best quality of vaccine for the athletes.

“So we will have to organize the task. We’ve just received the money, and we haven’t made any decisions yet. I guess the POC president will be the one to announce who will be heading the program,” she said. “First of all, we have to choose which brand we are going to purchase. Maybe AstraZeneca or Pfizer, we will decide about it soon.”

With less than seven months left before the prestigious biennial meet, the POC and Philippine Sports Commission have already plotted a 626-man delegation that will compete in 39 of 40 sporting events to be featured in the biennial meet in Hanoi.

Regardless of the coronavirus pandemic hampering the training of several athletes right, POC president Abraham Tolentino expressed his elation over the recent development that could greatly improve the national bets’ preparations soon.

“This is good news for Filipino athletes who will be competing in the Hanoi SEA Games,” Tolentino said. “Once they get inoculated, they can train with very little fear of getting infected.”