Team GB’s hope of getting every athlete FULLY vaccinated ahead of the Olympics gets a huge boost after IOC accepts Pfizer’s offer to give injections to those competing in Tokyo
- It’s great news to protect as many athletes as possible ahead of the Olympics
- The state of emergency will be extended in Tokyo due to high Covid cases
- IOC Chairman Thomas Bach welcomed Pfizer’s offer ahead of the Tokyo Games
- An indefinite number of doses of Pfizer vaccine will be available to athletes
- The deal with Pfizer could help Team GB ahead of the highly anticipated Olympics
Team GB’s bid to get all of their athletes fully vaccinated for the Tokyo Olympics has been ramped up after the IOC struck a deal for a supply of Pfizer shots.
With 11 weeks to go before the Games, the British Olympic Association has asked the government if the usual 12-week interval between doses can be shortened for their stars, otherwise most will go to Japan with just one shot.
But Team GB may now have a fallback option after Pfizer-BioNTech offered donations of their vaccine to all athletes and support staff ahead of the Olympics and Paralympic Games.
Team GB, which launched its new kit on Thursday, has received a vaccination boost ahead of the Tokyo Olympics
A BOA spokesperson said: “Given the success of the domestic rollout, our ambition to fully vaccinate all Olympians remains ahead of Tokyo and we are working closely with the government to make this happen.
“The news of Pfizer-BioN Tech’s vaccine donation is welcome, and we will fully explore all options out of respect for our hosts in Japan and for clear health and performance reasons.”
The IOC agreed a deal in March to buy jabs from China, but this did not help Team GB as Chinese vaccinations have not been approved in this country.
The news of the Pfizer deal is a boost to the odds of the Games going ahead as planned in July, despite Tokyo’s request to extend the emergency measures, which would end Tuesday, until the end of the month due to the coronavirus. numbers are still high.
IOC struck a deal with Pfizer to provide athletes and support staff with vaccines ahead of the Olympics
IOC Chairman Thomas Bach said: “ This donation of the vaccine is another resource in our toolbox of measures to make the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games safe for all participants and to show solidarity with our gracious Japanese hosts.
‘We invite the athletes and participating delegations of the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games to lead by example and accept the vaccine where and when possible.
“By taking the vaccine, they can send a powerful message that vaccination is not just about personal health, but also about solidarity and concern for the well-being of others in their community.”
Thomas Bach applauded the deal with Pfizer as the Games were still stuck due to the Covid crisis
Meanwhile, British sport’s CEO Sally Munday doesn’t believe the athletes’ welfare scandals torn through Britain’s Olympic programs over the past five years will have any impact on Team GB’s medal response in Tokyo.
There are alarming reports of the treatment of athletes in gymnastics, swimming, cycling, rowing, canoeing, bobsleigh, archery and judo. But Munday told Sportsmail, ‘Pre-Covid appearances at European and world events wouldn’t suggest it negatively impacts the medal outcome, so I don’t think it will.
‘Just like you, I have seen coaches think more deeply about how they do things and I find that positive.
People stop and think, “How do I support this athlete to be the best possible and how do I create the right environment?” It’s been a good thing. ‘