UAE Team Emirates are likely to become the first professional cycling team to be vaccinated against Covid-19 when the entire squad comes together at a training camp in the new year.
The WorldTour outfit will travel to Abu Dhabi for a winter training camp in January, where the entire squad will be vaccinated ahead of the new season.
Team owner Mauro Gianetti has already been vaccinated, having been part of a group of volunteers who tried out a coronavirus vaccine made by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm Group.
Gianetti says that although the vaccine has not yet been approved, the hope is that it will be by January and all his riders and staff members will be able to receive it.
“We are currently in phase 3. It has not yet been approved, but I know very little is missing and the aim is to produce a billion doses by 2021. In January we want to vaccinate the entire team, the riders and the staff members ”, Gianetti told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“The vaccination consists of two doses. I had no negative side effects” he continued. “Our training camp in January is in Abu Dhabi and the goal is to vaccinate everyone there.”
The team have already figured out the logistics of vaccinating their employees, and now only wait for the vaccine to be approved by authorities, and that each individual member of staff will be allowed to choose themselves whether they want to be vaccinated.
“We have already coordinated and planned it all with the medical staff. We are ready when the vaccine is validated and approved by the certified authorities,” Gianetti said. “Incidentally, the vaccination is not imposed, it is a personal choice.”
UAE Team Emirates had a very successful 2020 campaign despite the coronavirus pandemic disruptions, winning stages at all three Grand Tours as well as the yellow jersey with Tadej Pogačar.
In 2021 they will bolster their squad with the signings of Rafał Majka and Matteo Trentin, as well as Ryan Gibbons from NTT.