On Thursday, Team U.S.A. swimmer Michael Andrew informed the press that he refused to take any of the coronavirus vaccines ahead of the Olympic games in Tokyo.
During his comments on Thursday’s U.S. Swimming media call, he explained his reasoning for not getting vaccinated, according to Indianapolis’ ABC affiliate, WRTV:
During a USA Swimming media call on Thursday, Michael Andrew explained why he wouldn’t be receiving a COVID-19 vaccine in the https://t.co/91ek0EedLu
— WRTV Indianapolis (@wrtv) July 9, 2021
“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,” the swimmer 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.”
Still, Andrew went on to say that because of the virus protocols, he didn’t think a vaccine was even necessary.
“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,” he added. “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.”
The IOC has not moved to require vaccinations for athletes, but some reports say that more than 80 percent Olympians headed to Tokyo have been vaccinated ahead of the games.
The 22-year-old swimmer enters the games as America’s best freestyle and breaststroke competitor and already has several Gold medals to his record. He earned one at the 2016 World Championships, then went on to take the Gold in the 100-meter breaststroke in the 2018 Phillips 66 National Championships, and another gold in the 50-meter freestyle at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships.
He also enters the Tokyo games as a favorite to win the Gold for the U.S.A.
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