Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech SE announced Thursday that they will donate doses of their Covid-19 vaccine to help vaccinate athletes and their delegations participating in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
The companies said initial doses should be delivered to participating delegations at the end of May in an effort to ensure delegations receive second doses before arrivals in Tokyo.
The plan was implemented after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had a meeting with the Japanese government following an offer from Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla to give vaccines to athletes and their delegations.
“This vaccine donation is another tool in our measurement toolkit to help make the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games safe and secure for all participants,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.
Japan plans to extend the coronavirus-driven state of emergency in Tokyo and other major urban areas, sources said on Wednesday, raising concerns about the possibility that the Tokyo Olympics, which are scheduled to begin on July 23, are held as planned.
The companies said the doses given would be in addition to doses provided under supply agreements with countries around the world and would not affect existing agreements.