Wed, 16 Jun 2021

Vaccine developers Pfizer and BioNTech will donate coronavirus vaccine doses for athletes and officials preparing for the Tokyo Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said.

Delivery is set to begin this month to give Olympic delegations time to be fully vaccinated with a second shot before arriving in Tokyo for the Games, which open on 23 July.

It's the second major vaccination deal for the IOC.

An agreement was announced in March between the IOC and Olympic officials in China to buy and distribute Chinese vaccines ahead of both the Tokyo Olympics and next year's Beijing Winter Games.

Most countries have yet to authorise emergency use of Chinese vaccines. The IOC said any vaccination program must be done "in accordance with each country's vaccination guidelines and consistent with local regulations".

The IOC-China vaccine deal includes two does being made available to the general public for each dose received by an Olympic participant in that country.

Spectators

Also in March, organisers of the Tokyo Olympics said that overseas spectators would not be permitted to attend the event as part of the Japanese government's attempts to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speculation had been rife that fans travelling from abroad would not be welcomed into the country.

Around 900,000 tickets for the Olympics and subsequent Paralympics are to be refunded.

Originally published on RFI

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