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IOC Announce Partnership With Pfizer And BioNTech For Athlete Vaccines

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IOC Announce Partnership With Pfizer And BioNTech For Athlete Vaccines

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have announced a partnership with Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE to secure the companies’ COVID-19 vaccines for distribution for the upcoming Olympics Games athletes.

National Olympic Committees (NOCs) will oversee the local distribution and will work with their local governments to adhere to the guidelines of the vaccine and local regulations.

Australian Olympians were already expected to be vaccinated before arrival as the Australian government announced last week that athletes and officials would receive the vaccine.

The IOC expects a significant number of athletes will be vaccinated before arriving in Japan and have said the additional doses of the vaccine will not be taken out of existing programmes.

In a statement, IOC president, Thomas Bach, said the donation of vaccines will help make the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games “safe and secure for all participants.”

“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,” Bach said.

“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 wellbeing of others in their communities,” he said.

Pfizer chairman and CEO, Albert Bourla, said the return of the Olympics represents “a monumental moment of unity and peace after a gruelling year of isolation and devastation.”

The announcement comes after recent backlash from Japanese citizens towards the Games with a petition to cancel the Olympics attracting more than 150,000 signatures.

Tokyo, Osaka, and various other Japanese cities are currently under a state of emergency with new daily COVID-19 cases having reached thousands within the past weeks.

This is Japan’s third state of emergency and is set to end on the 11th of May, only a few months out from the start of the Olympics on the 23rd of July.

Recent polls conducted have shown 70-80% of Japanese citizens want to either cancel or postpone the Olympics.

The IOC have also unveiled their new digital platform with their new Olympics.com website which aims to provide information, news, and original content related to the Olympics.

The website will feature content on the upcoming 2020 Olympics as well as the history and past events of the Olympics.

The platform will also include new features such as personalised digital experiences, ticketing, fantasy games, an Olympics e-commerce presence and will host a variety of original video and live sports content.

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