The German company Biontech and its US partner Pfizer are donating the Corona vaccine to athletes, coaches and trainers who will participate in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
This was announced by the International Olympic Committee. Under the agreement, the companies and the IOC will work with national Olympic committees around the world to identify and meet local needs for vaccine doses for national Olympic delegations, the IOC announcement said.
Start of vaccinations at the end of May
"Delivery of the first doses to participating delegations is expected to start at the end of May, if possible, to ensure that delegations receive the second doses before arrival in Tokyo," the IOC said. These donated vaccine doses would be in addition to those supplied under agreements with governments worldwide.
IOC boss Bach delighted
He said the donation of vaccine doses would not affect the supply of Covid-19 doses to national populations. "This vaccine donation is another tool in our catalogue of measures to make the Olympic and Paralympic Games safe for all participants and to show solidarity with our gracious Japanese hosts," said IOC President Thomas Bach. "We invite the athletes and delegations of the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games to lead by example and embrace the vaccine wherever and whenever possible."
Strong message according to Bach
By getting vaccinated, they could send a strong message that vaccinating is not just about personal health, but also about solidarity and consideration for the welfare of others in their communities, it said. In March, IOC chief Bach had announced that he would buy vaccine in China for the Summer Games from 23 July to 8 August and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.