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POC thanks gov’t for putting nat’l athletes in vaccine priority list

Bambol Tolentino POC

POC president Bambol Tolentino. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

No athlete or coach from the national team will be left behind in the government’s vaccination program.

The government has approved the vaccination of almost 1,600 athletes and coaches, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) announced on Monday, even as more than half of the country’s representatives to the Vietnam Southeast Asian Games late this year have already received their first jabs.

“We now have peace of mind and protection against the virus. We can now train confidently,” said Gilas coach Jong Uichico, thanking POC and the national government for rolling out the vaccines to the national athletes and coaches.

“We will be going to Clark for the bubble next month. So it’s good that we have immunity going there,” added Uichico, who got his first jab on Friday along with the 16 players in the Gilas Pilipinas pool.

POC president and Cavite Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino wrote the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases through Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on May 18, got a positive response less than a week later and began the vaccination on Friday, beginning with the SEA Games bets.

The rollout will include all national athletes and coaches.

“We thank the government for putting priority on our athletes and coaches for the vaccine rollout. The vaccination of all national athletes is a relief for Philippine sports,” said Tolentino. INQ

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