Covid vaccine decision is personal choice, says Jonny Brownlee

Olympic champion Jonny Brownlee says it is an athlete’s personal choice whether or not they get vaccinated against Covid-19 – but for him there was only one decision he was ever going to make.

An athlete’s status as being vaccinated against the virus or not is one of the hottest topics in sport, with Novak Djokovic’s decision not to be and subsequent dismissal from Australia on the eve of tennis’s first grand slam of the year being one of the biggest news stories of 2022.

Rugby league, a sport that Olympic champion Brownlee is a huge admirer of, has had its own issues with last year’s World Cup being postponed due to Australia and New Zealand refusing to travel, and now debate over whether players can travel freely between France and England for Super League games from the middle of next month. England hosts the Commonwealth Games this summer, an event Brownlee was selected for just this week as he seeks to add more accolades to the medal of every colour he has won as an Olympian, and the three medals he has claimed at previous Commonwealth Games.

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For him, the question of whether he should get vaccinated or not, was never a dilemma.

England's Jonathan Brownlee is headed back to the Commonwealth Games (Picture: PA)

“I’m happy to say that I’m all vaccinated, double vaccinated and boosted,” he confirmed. “I come from a family of doctors and they were very keen for me.

“I believe it is up to people’s choice of what they want to do, but for me I’m vaccinated because I believe I should protect other people and that’s why I wanted to get vaccinated.”

The Commonwealth Games imn Birmingham will follow the ITU World Series event which returns to Leeds in June.

Brownlee said: “I’ve had some incredible home sporting events. London was unbelievable with a million people in Hyde Park, we’ve had the Leeds events, we really are a great sporting nation.

England's Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men's triathlon with brother Jonathan who took silver, at Strathclyde Country Park during the 2014 Commonwealth Games near Glasgow. (Picture: PA)

“I’ve been lucky in my career to race in front of passionate home crowds.

“Hopefully we can continue that and Birmingham will be a great event. The home crowd will be amazing and Birmingham should be very proud to be hosting the Games.”