IOC to provide Tokyo Olympic athletes with Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses
Written by tokyoclub on May 7, 2021
The International Olympic Committee announced Thursday it will provide athletes attending this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics with doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, free of charge.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been approved in Japan, although its rollout has been progressing slowly. The IOC has insisted that participants at this summer’s Olympics and Paralympics need not be vaccinated to participate.
According to the IOC statement, the vaccine doses donated by the U.S. and German companies will be made available to national Olympic committees to be distributed in coordination with their local governments.
Japan plans to finish inoculating those 65 and over by the end of July. The Olympics opening ceremony is scheduled for July 23.
Both Japan and the IOC have indicated that athletes not be given preferential access to vaccines, which Japanese Paralympic Committee President Mitsunori Torihara reiterated Thursday following the IOC announcement.
According to Marukawa, the vaccines would be available at the end of this month, and Japan could expect enough doses to inoculate 1,000 athletes and another 1,500 coaches.