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IOC accepts Pfizer’s offer to provide vaccines for Tokyo Olympics athletes

ATHLETES attending the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan in July and August will be offered Covid-19 vaccines, according to the International Olympic Committee.

The IOC announced on Thursday that it has accepted an offer from Pfizer to provide vaccines to athletes and support staff preparing for the Games.

The Olympics were postponed from 2020 following the outbreak of the highly contagious coronavirus but the development of vaccines has offered hope that it will be contained.

The vaccines are expected to be made available through each participating country’s Olympic committees as the IOC seeks to keep athletes safe before, during and after the Games.

“This donation of the vaccine is another tool in our toolbox of measures to help make the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 safe and secure for all participants, and to show solidarity with our gracious Japanese hosts,” IOC President Thomas Bach stated on Thursday.

“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.”

This year’s Olympics will be held under strict coronavirus measures, including a plan to test athletes daily.

The Japanese public are sceptical about the Games as the country has struggled to contain the pandemic.

Spectators from outside Japan have already been ruled out and it has still not been decided if domestic spectators will be allowed, with a decision to be taken in that regard in June, just weeks before the Games begin on 23 July.

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto insisted that while organisers wanted as many spectators as possible, they would do anything to ensure safety.

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