Pfizer, BioNTech to provide Covid-19 vaccine to Olympic athletes

Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech SE said Thursday they would donate doses of their Covid-19 vaccine to help vaccinate athletes and their delegations attending the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The companies said that the first doses are expected to be given to the participating delegations in late May to ensure that the delegations receive a second dose before their arrival in Tokyo.

The plan came into effect after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had a meeting with the Japanese government after Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chief executive officer, offered to donate vaccines to athletes and their delegations.

“This vaccine donation is another tool in our series of efforts to help ensure that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games are safe for all participants,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.

Japan is considering extending the coronavirus-triggered state of emergency in Tokyo and other major urban areas, sources said Wednesday, fueling concerns over whether the Tokyo Olympics, slated to begin July 23, could go ahead as planned.

The companies said the cans donated would be in addition to those provided under supply agreements with countries around the world and would not affect existing agreements.

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