Athletes in preparation for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics Games in Japan are already receiving their Covid-19 jabs.
The University of Johannesburg (UJ) shotput champion, Jason van Rooyen, recently received his jab in preparation of the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Van Rooyen is one of the UJ athletes selected to represent South Africa in shotput.
The shotput star said he was vaccinated at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto.
“I received the booking via South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) because they are arranging vaccinations for all the athletes heading to Japan.
“These days, a vaccine is just like a passport. It is important that we keep ourselves and the rest of the world safe by vaccinating,” said van Rooyen.
Van Rooyen said some of the side effects he has felt since getting the jab include headaches.
The young athlete said he has experienced really bad headaches and that he has been feeling very tired.
“But I think that is the normal thing that happens when a vaccine is injected into the body,” he said.
Athletes around the world are getting vaccinated to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Other countries such as Australia, have been inoculating athletes heading to the big games since April this year.
In South Africa, the vaccination of athletes only started late May at various vaccination sites throughout the country.
According to the Department of Health, its medical team has worked very close with SASCOC staff to contact the athletes and arrange vaccination dates and times to ensure an efficient and smooth vaccination process before July 2021.
Van Rooyen said he is eyeing a top 10 ranking in the world.
The start athlete gave an impressive performance in the 2021 USSA Championships in mid-May when UJ held the competition at the Athletics Stadium.
In the competition, van Rooyen equalled the South African record of 20.40m throw in shotput.
He said he has set his sights on the podium and hopes to bring home a medal.
“I want to be in the final at the Olympic Games. It would be really great to stand on the Olympics podium as evidence of my hard work here at home,” he said.