Australia to immunise athletes for Beijing

SYDNEY: Australia are preparing a major immunisation programme for athletes competing at next year’s Beijing Olympics to protect against infectious diseases, including bird flu and respiratory problems associated with pollution.

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said they were satisfied Chinese officials were taking enough precautions to protect the health of visiting athletes but Australia would proceed with their own programme as an additional safeguard.

“This is simply a precautionary measure to ensure the athletes don’t fall ill before or during competition,” AOC president John Coates said in a statement released yesterday.

“We have a responsibility to provide our athletes with adequate protection while they compete for Australia at the Games.”

He said around 1,000 potential team members would be offered vaccinations for hepatitis, typhoid, polio, tetanus, whooping cough and diphtheria, measles-mumps-rubella and influenza during a six-month immunisation period.

“Beijing is very hot and humid in August and there are concerns about air quality. How we can overcome these problems, as well as the cultural differences in China, are all part of our planning,” Coates said.

“The organising committee in Beijing (BOCOG) has made air pollution a priority.

“They are working with the State Environmental Protection Administration to ensure good air quality during the Games.”

Coates said Australia’s support team for Beijing would include 50 specialist medical staff, headed by doctor Peter Baquie. – Reuters

I went to china on a tour last year without getting any shots and i was fine. It’s the simple stomach bug that you have to worry about. Warming up for my 100m I spent about 40min out of an hour in the toilets. NOT COOL.