The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is counting on the corona vaccine to continue the Games for all athletes in Tokyo 2021. Sufficient vaccines would already be available in the first trimester of 2021: “They are already rolling off the line,” says BOIC chief physician Johan Bellemans.
The IOC is certain that the Games will continue. But the organization takes into account four different models, from the worst-case scenario that the virus is still raging everywhere to the best normalized scenario. In a webinar with all national Olympic committees, including the BOIC, the IOC focused on the idea that there will still be local clusters and that distance will remain the norm, but also that a vaccine will be on the market that will vaccinate all Olympic athletes for the start of Tokyo 2021.
“We can say that enough vaccines will be available by the first trimester of 2021,” it also stated in a BOIC communication. The IOC is in talks with the World Health Organization WHO about obtaining those vaccines for athletes, coaches and counselors.BOIC chief physician Johan Bellemans confirms the information: “Five large pharmaceutical companies are ready with their vaccine and are expecting approval to bring them on the market in the last quarter of this year. The protection threshold for that approval has been set relatively low at 50 percent: the vaccine must protect in half of the cases. Most vaccines will easily reach that threshold. By the way, they're already rolling off the line. ”
“The demand for those vaccines will be high,” says Bellemans. “And the weak population has priority. But the IOC may reserve a bulk of 100,000 vaccines for the Olympic bubble with all athletes, coaches and staff. The question is, however, whether they will make the vaccine policy mandatory or strongly recommend it. That's an ethical discussion. ”