Formula 1 declines Bahrain COVID-19 group vaccine offer

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Formula 1 has declined an offer from Bahrain GP organizers to administer a COVID-19 vaccine to members of the F1 paddock travelling to the Kingdom this month for pre-season testing and the Grand Prix.

Bahrain which is currently implementing its national vaccine program has offered to administer to all F1-related visitors the two dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which each dose administered 21 days apart.

The offer - which is voluntary - is part of the Persian Gulf state's plan to extend its vaccination program "to major events in the kingdom on a voluntary basis, where timescales allow and provide additional benefit to both participants and the national population".

"Due to the timescale of this year’s Formula 1 event, including testing, the vast majority of participants will be present in Bahrain for a three-week period ahead of the race," read a statement from Bahrain.

"This, in turn, allows a unique opportunity to provide additional protection for those who wish to take up the opportunity in the form of vaccination [Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine]."

However, Formula 1 has declined the group offer insisting it "has no plans to be vaccinated as a travelling group ahead of the already established rollout of vaccines through the health system in the UK."

It is believed that most teams - or likely all those based in the UK - will also decline the kingdom of Bahrain's offer to race participants.

Last month, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said the sport would not attempt to take unfair precedence over others to protect its 2021 season with a wide-spread vaccination program.

"This is a very important point, the most vulnerable [person] is the priority one," said the F1 boss.

"On our side, we don’t want to jump the line of vaccination. For sure vaccination is very, very important and I would say I’m looking forward to be vaccinated as, I would say, everyone should be in this moment."

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