. The head of the British Olympic Association (BOA) says the organisation is still “trying to convince” some athletes to have the Covid vaccine before Tokyo 2020 starts next month.
Chief executive Andy Anson said “well over 90%” of British athletes will have two vaccine doses by the Olympics.
But he also admitted “there are individuals who didn’t want to be vaccinated”.
“We’re trying to convince them it’s the right thing to do,” he added.
“People have got the right to choose, and we have to respect that. But it’s not necessarily that helpful.”
In a wide-ranging and exclusive interview with The Sports Desk podcast, Anson said the BOA had been running a “mammoth programme of vaccination of the whole entourage, well over 1,000 people… because that will lessen the risk”, but there had been challenges.
“There’s been some difficulties with some athletes who have been travelling around the continent,” he said. “I’m pretty sure that nearly everyone will have at least one dose. We’ll keep trying right until the last minute.”
The Olympics were postponed for the first time in their history in 2020 as a result of the pandemic and are set to go ahead on 23 July, despite significant opposition from the public and medical experts in Japan.
Organisers insist they will be safe and secure, but the vaccination roll-out has been slow.
Coronavirus case numbers have been falling since May, when there were more than 6,000 a day across Japan, and a state of emergency in Tokyo has been lifted.
In the host city, experts have said the daily infection rate should be below 100 in order to hold the Games safely.
However, the city’s health authorities reported 619 new infections on 23 June, and the average for the last seven days is 423 new cases a day.