2023 Arctic Winter Games drops COVID-19 vaccine policy amid pressure from Alberta

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People won’t need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend the Wood Buffalo 2023 Arctic Winter Games coming up in January in northern Alberta.

On Nov. 18, the Arctic Winter Games International Committee (AWGIC) said it revoked its policy on mandatory COVID-19 vaccines “to align with current public health advice,” according to the committee’s news release. 

At a news conference in Edmonton on Monday however, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said she asked the Games to drop the vaccine requirement in response to the committee’s request for funding.

“The Arctic Winter Games wanted $1.2 million from us to support their effort and they were discriminating against the athletes, telling them they had to be vaccinated,”

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