Pfizer and BioNTech to Donate Vaccines for Olympic Athletes
May 7, 2021 by Stewart Coggin
Vaccine developers Pfizer and BioNTech will donate doses to inoculate athletes and officials at this year’s Olympic Games, the IOC have confirmed.
Delivery of doses is set to begin this month to give delegations time to have a second shot ahead of the Tokyo games which start on July 23.
This is the second major vaccine deal announced by the International Olympic Committee after an agreement was also reached to buy and distribute Chinese vaccines ahead of the Olympics and next year’s Beijing Winter Games.
The new Pfizer offer gives the IOC greater coverage worldwide ahead of the Games with most countries yet to authorize emergency use of Chinese vaccines.
“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,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement.
The IOC said any vaccination program must be done “in accordance with each country’s vaccination guidelines and consistent with local regulations.”
Canadian Olympic Committee CEO David Shoemaker said the program will provide ‘an important layer of protection’ for Canadian athletes at the Games.
“The Olympic Games hold special meaning for the millions of Canadians who will be inspired by the resilience and determination of Canadian athletes this summer in Tokyo. As most provinces begin vaccination of the general population, this announcement will help more Canadians receive vaccinations quicker,” Shoemaker said.
“We thank the IOC, Pfizer and BioNTech for their support, and look forward to working with them, and relevant government agencies, to confirm details of the roll out in Canada.”
/Stewart Sports news editor