Friday, January 28

All Norwegian Olympic athletes are offered a booster dose – not everyone will take it

NOT ENOUGH VACCINE: Cross-country skier Lotta Udnes Weng is going to the Beijing Olympics in February.

Around 110 Norwegian Olympic athletes are sent to the “corona games” in Beijing. Everyone is offered refreshment doses, but not everyone can or wants to take the vaccine before departure.

While international top sports are in the middle of a series of cancellations and postponements, Norwegian athletes have a few weeks left before leaving for the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

To enter the host country, it is required to be fully vaccinated – which in Norway means to have at least two vaccine doses – or one vaccine dose and at the same time have undergone covid-19 disease.

A few days before Christmas, all Olympic-trained athletes were offered the so-called booster dose. But not everyone will reach or want to take it, Olympiatoppen’s chief physician Aasne Fenne Hoksrud informs VG.

– Most people in the support system will try to get and want the vaccine. While many of the practitioners are not within the 20-week window that is the rules of the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH). And then there are some who have not had the opportunity due to competitions, says Hoksrud and points out that it should have taken around 140 days between syringe number two and three.

But also for purely sporting reasons, there are Norwegian Olympic athletes who will say no.

– More people will get the vaccine so close to departure that they do not dare. Getting a side effect from a vaccine is perceived as too great a risk one to two days before you leave. There is a mixture of risk of side effects and risk of infection. There is a lot we do not know about corona and vaccine on top athletes, and there are many who experience it as a small window from the time they are to take the vaccine until they are to perform, says the Olympic Games’ Olympic doctor.

The Olympic-selected cross-country skier Lotta Udnes Weng (25) informs VG that she is in the category that does not reach the “booster” before the Olympics. For her part, it has been too short a time since she set dose two.

While the alpinists’ gold candidate Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (29) says that he received a refresher dose last week.

– I had a sore shoulder and was a little slack for one day, but not something that lasted longer, says the Norwegian world cup winner.

He will not live in isolation for the next few weeks. January is the big month for speed skiers with the classics in Wengen and Kitzbühel. And already on February 6, the royal exercise downhill is on the program in Beijing.

– I think that one should be a little extra careful in the period ahead and hope FIS (The International Ski Federation) ensures safe conditions during competition. The races that are coming now are important preparations for the Olympics, and are not something you should stand over in terms of ranking and start number during the Olympics, points out Aleksander Aamodt Kilde.

While cross-country skier Heidi Weng said after the Tour de Ski that she would not even meet her boyfriend before the Olympics, the alpinist has to live with some risk.

– I am most worried about the time from now until departure. If we come to China infection-free, it will take a lot to get infected. The fact that there are such strong restrictions in China makes the toys safer for all of us. I am more worried about the increased infection here now, and the consequences it can have if you become infected before the Olympics. When we received the “playbook” for the Olympics in October, the concern was already in the last four weeks before departure, says Aasne Fenne Hoksrud.

Sweden’s biathlete Sebastian Samuelsson revealed at a press conference that he did not feel confident about taking the “booster” ahead of the Olympics.

– For me, it feels like too great a risk so close to the Olympics and not knowing how I react to side effects. I trust that I have good protection with two doses, says the Swedes’ Olympic hopes.

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