German athletes at Tokyo 2020 will be offered the COVID-19 vaccine ©Getty Images

The German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) and the German Disabled Sports Association (DBS) have offered COVID-19 vaccines to athletes who are set to compete at Tokyo 2020.

A Committee dedicated to COVID-19 safety has decided to give all "Team D" athletes the assurance of a vaccine before the Games.

"Today's message from Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer is a decisive signal of support from the Federal Government for our athletes and supervisors on their way to Tokyo in difficult times," said DOSB President Alfons Hörmann.

"We are happy and grateful and at the same time recognise this particularly valuable signal of support and the associated solidarity of society with Olympic and Paralympic sports. 

"It is now a matter of implementing the vaccinations responsibly and professionally in the next few weeks together with all federal and state authorities responsible for implementation. 

"It is the central building block to enable our Team D members to participate safely and return safely."

DOSB President Alfons Hörmann said it was critical for personnel to travel and compete safely ©Getty Images
DOSB President Alfons Hörmann said it was critical for personnel to travel and compete safely ©Getty Images

According to current planning, around 800 athletes, coaches and other personnel will represent Germany at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, while 300 will travel for the Paralympics.

Vaccinating athletes is a controversial move, however, especially if they are seen to be "queue jumping" in front of more vulnerable members of society.

"We are in a situation in which more and more vaccines will be available, so that in terms of prevention it is logical to offer the athletes and supervisors of the Team Germany Paralympics a vaccination offer before the trip to Tokyo - for protecting their health and that of others," said DBS President Friedhelm-Julius Beucher.

"For us, the decision of the Federal Government's 'Corona Cabinet' is important and correct with regard to our endeavours to send the athletes to Tokyo responsibly."

Ninety-two per cent of the teams have requested a vaccination, while eight per cent have reportedly refused for various reasons.

The International Olympic Committee has stated that athletes will not require a vaccine to compete in Tokyo.