Great news for Tokyo Olympic bound athletes, the vaccine developers Pfizer and BioNTech will look to donate doses to inoculate the Olympic athletes and officials preparing for the games, as stated by the IOC on Thursday.
Pfizer and BioNTech donate COVID-19 vaccines for Olympic athletes
It is aimed that the delivery of these doses is will begin this month thus giving Olympic delegations time to be fully vaccinated before arriving in Tokyo, which opens on July 23rd.
This is the second vaccination deal achieved for the International Olympic Committee. In March, an agreement had been announced between the IOC and Olympic officials in China to buy and distribute Chinese vaccines ahead of the Tokyo Games and next year’s Beijing Winter Games.
This new Pfizer offer gives the IOC even greater coverage worldwide ahead of Tokyo Olympics with the anticipatition that most countries will look to authorize the emergency use of Chinese vaccines.
“We are inviting the athletes and participating delegations of the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games to lead by example and accept the vaccine where and when possible,” IOC President Thomas Bach stated.
The This Pfizer initiative was the result of the talks between the company’s chairman and CEO, Albert Bourla, and the Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
“Following this conversation, the Japanese government had a meeting with the IOC and now the donation plan has been realized,” Pfizer announced.
The IOC stated that any vaccination program should be done “in accordance with each country’s vaccination guidelines and consistent with local regulations.”
The IOC-China vaccine deal also includes that two doses will be made available to the general public for each dose received by an Olympic participant of that country.
The Spanish Olympic Committee announced that the nearly 600 members of their delegation going to Japan will start being vaccinated with Pfizer doses this month. Other countries, including Australia, South Korea and Italy, have also been making arrangements to vaccinate their teams.