Vanuatu's Olympic beach volleyball hopefuls have registered to get the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, to keep alive their hopes of making it to Tokyo.
Vanuatu will compete in the Asian Continental Cup final in Thailand next month, with the winner to qualify for the women's main draw in Japan.
Vanuatu Beach Volleyball President Debbie Masauvakalo said the women have to be vaccinated if they want to take part in the Olympics.
"Because we are preparing to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games and we have to travel out early next month to Bangkok, so it's very important that we come here today and we register and that we get the Covid vaccine so that we can remain safe."
Debbie Masauvakalo said the vaccine has been proven safe and the beach volleyball squad want to be safe and to protect their families against the virus.
"The vaccine is safe and it will protect you from getting sick and it's important that everybody in your family gets the vaccine so that nobody in Vanuatu gets sick. We don't want that."
The Vanuatu beach volleyball team hoped that by getting the vaccine they can also set a good example for others in the country who might have concerns, and encourage them to do the same.
"The main message is that it's important to get the vaccine," Masauvakalo said.
"It's been proven safe and that yes there is some worries but I think it's more of a worry that we get the Covid in Vanuatu and then it spreads and that people die. We don't want people to die, we want to remain a happy, healthy country so it's important that we get the vaccine and that we remain a happy, healthy Covid-free country."
The Asian Continental Cup final is scheduled to take place in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand from June 25-27, just four weeks before the start of the Tokyo Games.