Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar is among 27 riders and 32 UAE Team Emirates staff to have received a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sinopharm CNBG.
Vaccinations took place at a UAE Team Emirates pre-season training camp in the United Arab Emirates.
UAE Team Emirates team manager Mauro Gianetti said last month the vaccinations were planned at the training camp.
Gianetti had taken part in the phase three trials of the Sinopharm vaccine.
The vaccine, developed by the China National Pharmaceutical Group, was approved for emergency use in the UAE in September.
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention was the first from a country outside of China to approve emergency use of Sinopharm’s vaccine.
UAE Team Emirates confirmed a total of 27 riders, including Pogačar, plus 32 staff have now received the vaccine.
“As a UAE team we are enormously proud of the efforts the nation and its leadership has taken at every level to both combat the impact the of the COVID-19 pandemic and to be a leader in the efforts to bring life back to normal,” Gianetti said.
“The whole team is delighted to have been given the opportunity to protect ourselves and others through taking the vaccine and we would like to congratulate the UAE and all partners of this programme for their incredible work to make this happen.”
UAE Team Emirates were among the squads to have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic during the 2020 cycling season.
The team was quarantined in a hotel during the UAE Tour in February, which was curtailed as the coronavirus pandemic developed.
Sprinter Fernando Gaviria was among those to have tested positive for coronavirus, while team osteopath Dario Marini spent nine days in intensive care.
Vaccinations of athletes has emerged as a crucial topic in recent days, with senior International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Richard Pound suggesting prioritising athletes for the COVID-19 vaccine would be the “most realistic way” of ensuring the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games take place this year.
The IOC has expressed its commitment to having as many foreign participants as possible vaccinated for COVID-19 before Tokyo 2020.
The organisation repeatedly said it supports priority access for high-risk groups and healthcare workers.