Therapy Areas: Vaccines
Japan gears up to vaccinate its Olympians and Paralympians against COVID-19
12 May 2021 -

Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday that Japan is readying itself to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to around 2,500 Olympic and Paralympic athletes and support staff, using shots donated for the Games.

Officials at the Japan Olympic Committee and Japan Paralympic committee said that they are currently asking each athletic federation how many people want to be vaccinated and when this should take place.

According to a report in the daily newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, vaccinations could start as early as June 2021, however the officials said the timing, as well as other details, such as who would give the inoculations, remained unclear.

So far, only about 2.6% of the Japanese population has been vaccinated at this and reports last month that athletes would be prioritised prompted anger on social media.

However, US pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) and its German partner, biotechnology company BioNTech SE (Nasdaq:BNTX) said last week they would donate doses of their COVID-19 vaccine via the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to help inoculate athletes and their delegations participating in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

IOC organisers in Japan and the Japanese government have repeatedly stated that the Games will take place as scheduled from 23 July to 8 August 2021, although criticism is high at home and abroad, Reuters added.