IOC given huge boost after striking deal with Pfizer to provide vaccines to athletes ahead of the Olympics… with Thomas Bach welcoming move amid news a state of emergency is set to be extended in Tokyo due to Covid crisis
- It is big news in bid to protect as many athletes as possible ahead of Olympics
- A state of emergency is set to be extended in Tokyo because of high Covid cases
- IOC president Thomas Bach welcomed Pfizer’s offer ahead of the Tokyo Games
- An unspecified number of doses of Pfizer vaccine will be available for athletes
- The Pfizer deal could help Team GB ahead of the eagerly-anticipated Olympics
The International Olympic Committee’s bid to have all athletes inoculated for the Tokyo Games has received a boost after a deal was struck with Pfizer to receive donations of their vaccine.
With a state of emergency set to be extended in Tokyo because of high coronavirus case numbers, the IOC are desperate for athletes to be vaccinated to help this summer’s Olympics go ahead as scheduled.
In March, they revealed they had agreed a deal to buy jabs from China for participants from countries where Chinese vaccinations have been approved.
IOC struck a deal with Pfizer to offer athletes and support staff vaccines ahead of Olympics
Now an unspecified number of doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be available for athletes, with the IOC noting that ‘any additional doses delivered by Pfizer will not be taken out of existing programmes, but will be in addition to existing quotas and planned deliveries around the world’.
The Pfizer deal could help Team GB, who are in talks with the Government about shortening the 12-week gap between doses as, under the current national rollout timetable, most of their athletes would only receive one jab before the Games.
IOC president Thomas Bach said: ‘This donation of the vaccine is another tool in our toolbox of measures to help make the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 safe and secure for all participants, and to show solidarity with our gracious Japanese hosts.
‘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.
‘By taking the vaccine, they can send a powerful message that vaccination is not only about personal health, but also about solidarity and consideration of the wellbeing of others in their communities.’
Thomas Bach welcomed the deal with Pfizer with the Games still mired by the Covid crisis