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Infographic. Safety of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and addressing vaccine hesitancy in athletes
  1. Alan Rankin1,2,
  2. James H Hull3,
  3. Moses Wootten4,
  4. Craig Ranson5,
  5. Neil Heron6
  1. 1 Sports Medicine, Sport NI Sports Institute, Newtownabbey, UK
  2. 2 Department of Medicine, Sports Medicine NI, Belfast, UK
  3. 3 Department of Respiratory Medicine, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  4. 4 Department of Science, English Institute of Sport, Manchester, UK
  5. 5 English Institute of Sport, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK
  6. 6 General Practice/Centre for Public Health, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Neil Heron, General Practice/Centre for Public Health, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, Belfast, UK; neilheron{at}

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COVID-19 vaccination in athletes

In the current COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine administration has been one of the key public health messages advocated for protecting people.1 Although the majority of athletes and the general population have opted/consented (figure 1) to receive their COVID-19 vaccines, there is a significant minority with vaccine hesitancy.2 For the athletic population, a key concern is the effect of the vaccine on athletic performance, despite the fact that a 2021 report indicated that around one in four athletes had not returned fully to sport a month after the onset of COVID-19 infection.3

Figure 1


Side effect profile of COVID-19 vaccination in elite athletes

To evaluate concerns over the side effect profile of COVID-19 vaccines, Hull et al 4 established a prospective monitoring system in the elite athletic population to characterise SARS-CoV-2 vaccine side effects and their effects on sporting participation in preparation for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. These elite UK athletes completed a daily electronic questionnaire for 10 days following SARS-CoV-2 vaccination via a mobile phone application.

Complete data were available for …

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  • Twitter @craig_ranson, @neilSportDoc

  • Contributors All authors conceived the idea for the infographic. AR produced the first drafts of the infographic, with input from NH. All authors provided revisions to the submitted documents and agreed on the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.