Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to donate doses of the companies’ COVID-19 Vaccine to help vaccinate athletes, and their delegations, participating in the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, which are scheduled to begin on July 23, 2021.
Under the MoU, the companies and the IOC will coordinate with National Olympic Committees (NOCs) around the world to understand and work to help address the local need for vaccine doses for national delegations’ participation in the Games. Delivery of initial doses to participating delegations is expected to begin at the end of May where possiblewith the aimto ensure participating delegations receive second doses ahead of arrivals in Tokyo. Under the MoU framework, NOCs and their local governments are expected to coordinate the administration of vaccinations to eligible Games participants. Doses provided under this MoU would be in addition to doses provided under supply agreements with governments worldwide. The donation of vaccine doses will not affect the supply of the national populations with COVID-19 doses under the supply agreements.
During a conversation between Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer, and Suga Yoshihide, Prime Minister of Japan, which is the host country of Tokyo 2020, Mr. Bourla made an offer to donate the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for athletes and their delegations participating in Tokyo 2020. Following this conversation, the Japanese government had a meeting with the IOC and now the donation plan has been realized.
It is the decision of sovereign States to offer immunization to athletes and their delegations in accordance with their local guidance before travelling to Japan for the Tokyo Games. The IOC and International Paralympics Committee (IPC) have made it clear that vaccination is not mandatory in order for athletes to participate in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and that any vaccination program must be conducted in full respect of national vaccination priorities.