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Medical Ethicist: Olympic Athletes Should Be Allowed to Go to the Head of the Vaccine Line


To be ready to compete in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo this year, athletes should be allowed to go to the head of the line to get Covid-19 vaccines, a leading medical ethics professor says.

“Some athletes are essential workers,” Dr. Arthur Caplan, Director of NYU Langone’s Division of Medical Ethics, said in an interview this week on the Law&Crime Network’s Brian Ross Investigates. “They may be useful to us. Not because they’re deserving, but because they give us pleasure.”

“If you’re quarantined, if you’re isolated, if you’re home and you’re looking for entertainment, it’s part of mental health,” Dr. Caplan said.

“As much as people argue about what’s important in distributing the vaccine, we tend to look at who’s going to die,” he added. “We need to look soon at quality of life.”

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently announced that athletes and officials will not be required to have received a vaccine in order to participate in the Games.

In its first Tokyo 2020 “Playbook,” which outlines the rules and safety regulations that need to be followed, the organizers say they will work with the National Olympic Committees to assist their athletes, officials and stakeholders to get vaccinated in their home countries before they go to Japan.

“I think the Olympics may happen if we use vaccine that way,” he continued. “The world may actually wind up saying, you know what, maybe a few less people who are delivery people got vaccinated, but that was meaningful to us help get us through.”

[Image via Cameron Spencer/Getty Images]

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