Tokyo: Pfizer and BioNtech will donate doses of their COVID-19 vaccine to participants at the Olympic and paralympic games that are due here in July.
In what is seen as a shot in the arm for ensuring safety and security of athletes, support staff and officials at what is usually billed as the greatest sporting spectacle of the world, International Olympic Committee signed an MoU with pharma majors Pfizer Inc and BioNTech for donation of their vaccines. The two American giants have partnered to produce a vaccine that has been widely hailed as a protection against double mutation of the dreaded corona virus.
National Olympic committees will coordinate distribution of the vaccine in keeping with their country’s vaccine guidelines and regulations.
While organizers expect most participants arriving at the games to have been inoculated in their respective countries, the MoU will add to further fortification of the games against pandemic fears.
IOC President Thomas Mach urged athletes and participating delegations to lead by example by getting vaccinated wherever and whenever possible.
“By taking the vaccine, they can send a powerful message that vaccination is not only about personal health, but also about solidarity and consideration of the well being of others,” Mach said while thanking Pfizer and BioNTech for the generous donation.