Pfizer, BioNTech to donate vaccines to participants of Tokyo Olympics: IOC

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Tokyo

Pfizer and BioNTech pharma companies will provide COVID-19 vaccines to participants of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Thursday.

The IOC said it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with both firms on the shipment of their coronavirus vaccine to members of National Olympic and Paralympic Committees across the globe.

The committees are expected to coordinate the vaccine deliveries with local authorities in line with each country’s vaccination guidelines and local legislation.

“We would like to thank Pfizer and BioNTech for this very generous donation to support the vaccination of athletes and Games participants ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020,” IOC President Thomas Bach was quoted as saying by the organization.

The initiative is set to encourage athletes and other participants of the Games to undergo vaccination in their home countries before they travel to Japan for the event “not only to contribute to the safe environment of the Games, but also out of respect for the residents of Japan,” the statement read.

Besides, it noted that the doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine under the agreement would come “as an addition to existing quotas and planned deliveries” for national immunization campaigns.

The Tokyo Olympics were scheduled for summer 2020 but had to be postponed for a year due to the pandemic. They will now take place from July 23 to August 8.—AP