Agreement between Pfizer-Biontech and the International Olympic Committee to provide vaccines for athletes
The Pfizer and Biontech laboratories announced Thursday the conclusion of a memorandum of understanding with the International Olympic Committee to provide vaccines against the “Covid-19” virus for athletes and delegations from all countries participating in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which is postponed until next summer.
The two laboratories, whose anti-virus vaccine dominates the global vaccination campaign, said in a statement: “They will coordinate with the National Olympic Committees around the world.”
The International Olympic Committee has always ruled out making vaccination mandatory for the games scheduled between July 23 and August 8, and even a demand to give priority to athletes, but for months it encouraged the largest possible number of participants to vaccinate.
The two laboratories explained that the first deliveries of the Biontec-Pfizer vaccine should begin at “the end of May, wherever possible, to ensure that members of participating delegations receive their second dose before their arrival in Tokyo.”
The doses will be in addition to pre-planned deliveries as part of orders from governments or the Kovacs International Program.
German International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach praised this initiative in the press release, saying, “This vaccine donation is another tool in the toolkit that will help make the Olympic Games and Olympic Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 a healthy and safe event for all participants, while showing our solidarity with our host, Japan. ».
The Olympic Games are scheduled to host about 11,000 athletes, but many of them have previously been vaccinated through their national programs “or received the promise to vaccinate”, according to the International Olympic Committee, and thus the agreement with the Fireworks-Bionic could interest a few thousand athletes, as well as all members of Delegations.
“By accepting the vaccine, they (athletes and delegates) can send a strong message that not only their personal health is at stake, but also the solidarity and well-being of others,” Bach stressed in the statement.
The International Olympic Committee, based in Lausanne (Switzerland), has been promising for months a “safe” Olympic Games even without a general vaccination. It recently continued to insist on organizing “340 major sporting events involving more than 41,000 athletes” despite the epidemic thanks to a set of health precautions .
But the agreement with Pfizer is a more important milestone, as Tokyo and many Japanese administrations have been placed once again in a state of emergency in the face of the increase in “Covid-19” cases, which has raised persistent doubts about maintaining the organization of the games.
The Japanese authorities had previously decided to ban the attendance of spectators from outside the country, and the major Olympic event could be held behind closed doors for the first time in its history, as explained last Friday to AFP, President of the Organizing Committee Seko Hashimoto.
In an effort to assuage Japanese people’s doubts in favor of a new postponement or cancellation of the Games, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee last week also strengthened anti-virus measures imposed on Olympic delegations and the media.