U.S. swimmer Michael Andrew announced his refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccination because he fears it will affect his rigorous training schedule, according to Town Hall.
“My reason behind it is I, for one, it was kind of a last moment, I didn’t want to put anything in my body that I didn’t know how I would potentially react to,” Andrew said.
“As an athlete on the elite level, everything we do is very calculated.”
For me in the training cycle, especially leading up to trials, I didn’t want to risk any days out, because we do know that there are periods where, getting the vaccine, you have to deal with some days off.”
“But as far as that goes, U.S.A. Swimming and all of us here have been through a very strict protocol with lots of testing, masks, socially distant, obviously staying away from the crowds, everything like that.”
“And going into Tokyo, the same thing, with testing every day.”
“So we feel very safe and protected, knowing that we’re minimizing risk as much as possible.”
From Town Hall:
The 22-year-old said that he is confident that he can remain healthy by following the International Olympic Committee’s COVID-19 protocol.
His event will begin July 23 with no spectators in attendance due to a rise in Tokyo’s coronavirus cases.
Andrew, who nearly had a record-breaking showcase at the Olympic trials, will start the games in Tokyo as the best individual medley and breaststroke swimmer for Team U.S.A. He will also be competing in the freestyle at the Olympics.
More than 80 percent of athletes participating in the Tokyo Olympics have already been vaccinated against the virus.