China Offers IOC Corona Vaccines for Tokyo and Beijing Games
All athletes participating in the Tokyo and Beijing Olympic Games can get vaccinated against the coronavirus. China’s Olympic Committee will host next year’s Winter Games and has offered the International Olympic Committee (IOC) the vaccines.
“We are grateful for this offer, which is in line with the true Olympic spirit of solidarity,” said IOC president Thomas Bach at an online conference.
The IOC will pay for the vaccines. The shots against the coronavirus will be available to all Olympic and Paralympic athletes participating in the Games next summer in Tokyo and early next year in Beijing. For every corona vaccine that goes to an athlete, the IOC buys two additional vaccines that can be used in the athlete’s country.
Many countries have already started to vaccinate athletes. Earlier this year, the World Health Organization called for Olympic athletes not to give priority. According to the WHO, the vaccines should primarily go to the elderly and the frail.
The IOC hopes that as many athletes as possible will be vaccinated before going to Tokyo in July. “A significant portion of the Olympic teams have now been vaccinated in line with their national vaccination guidelines,” Bach said Thursday.
“Some have already received commitments from their governments and are currently engaged in positive discussions. We are very pleased with China’s offer, which makes additional doses available to participants in the Tokyo and Beijing Games.” Countries that already use the Chinese vaccine will receive those doses directly. Other countries can turn to the IOC.
“This is another milestone in ensuring safe Games in Tokyo,” said Bach. “With this, we show our solidarity with the Japanese population, for which we have so much respect.”