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Athletes with Russia’s anti-COVID-19 jabs to be cleared for 2022 Olympics, say organizers

Russia has so far registered five COVID-19 vaccines

MOSCOW, October 4. /TASS/. Athletes inoculated with Russian-made anti-COVID-19 vaccines will be allowed to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games revealed to TASS on Monday.

"Regarding the vaccines, please note that all vaccines recognized by World Health Organization or related international organizations, or approved officially by the countries or regions concerned will be accepted. Therefore, Russia’s vaccines are well accepted," the organizers stated.

Commenting on the decision of the Beijing Organizing Committee, a senior Russian lawmaker, Dmitry Svishchev, told TASS it was a friendly move on behalf of China.

"This is an unbiased reality as the Russian vaccines [against COVID-19] have been recognized as some of the best in the world, but due to certain political games on the arena of medical services, some countries refuse to accept them," Svishchev, a member of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) Committee on Physical Culture, Sports, Tourism and Youth Affairs, said in an interview with TASS.

"However, a Russian vaccine was recently recognized by Hong Kong," he continued. "Europe is gradually recognizing it as well."

"The fact that China made this step and our athletes with Russian [anti-COVID-19] jabs will be able to participate in the competitions is certainly a progress and speaks for our Chinese neighbors’ recognition of our medicine, vaccines," Svishchev said. "It was also a friendly move in regard to our country."

"Many countries have already recognized our vaccines," the lawmaker noted. "Therefore, all citizens, including athletes, of these countries have the right to access our vaccines."

"If these vaccines are accepted by other countries, then it will be a good evaluation and recognition of Russian medicine on the whole," Svishchev added.

Russia has so far registered five COVID-19 vaccines. They are Sputnik V and Sputnik Light developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, EpiVacCorona and EpiVacCorona-N created by the Vector State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology and CoviVac from the Chumakov Federal Scientific Center for Research and Development of Immune and Biological Products.

Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona, EpiVacCorona-N and CoviVac are two-dose shots, while Sputnik Light is a single-dose vaccine.

2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing

The 2022 Winter Olympic Games in the Chinese capital of Beijing are scheduled to be held between February 4 and 20.

During the 128th IOC session in Kuala Lumpur on July 31, 2015, Beijing was chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games making the Chinese capital the first city ever to host both the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games (in 2008) as well as the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games (in 2022).

Beijing won the right to host the 2022 Olympics and Paralympics in a tight race, beating Kazakhstan’s Almaty in 2015, by chalking up 44 votes against its rival’s 40.