IOC to buy vaccines from China for competitors

Published March 12, 2021
This picture shows the Olympics symbol with Tokyo 2021 in the backdrop. — Reuters/File
This picture shows the Olympics symbol with Tokyo 2021 in the backdrop. — Reuters/File

LAUSANNE: Competitors at this year’s Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Games will be offered coronavirus vaccines bought from China, Olympic chief Thomas Bach announced on Thursday in a significant move for the holding of the Covid-delayed Tokyo Games.

“The Chinese Olympic Committee have made an offer to make additional vaccine doses available to participants for Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022,” Bach said. “The IOC will pay for these additional doses of vaccines for the Olympic and Paralympic teams.

“The IOC will also pay for two doses more that can be made available to people in that country,” Bach said, describing it as a ‘demonstration of solidarity’ in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tellingly none of the IOC members who took the virtual floor on day two of the 137th IOC Session questioned the moral minefield of athletes jumping the vaccine queue.

Bach said the Chinese Olympic Committee, in cooperation with the IOC, was ready to make vaccine doses available in two ways.

“This can be via international partners or in countries where partnerships are already in place with the Chinese government,” he said, without giving further details.

Published in Dawn, March 12th, 2021

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