THE TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) is awaiting more details from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding Thursday’s announcement by biopharmaceutical company Pfizer, and its German partner BioNTech, that they would donate doses of their covid19 vaccine to help vaccinate athletes and their delegations ahead of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
A report by Reuters stated, “The companies said initial doses are expected to be delivered to participating delegations at the end of May with the goal of ensuring the delegations receive second doses ahead of arrivals in Tokyo.”
The article said that this plan was put into effect after the IOC had a meeting with the Japanese government following Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla's offer to donate vaccines to athletes and their delegations.
“This donation of the vaccine is another tool in our toolbox of measures to help make the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 safe and secure for all participants,” said IOC president Thomas Bach.
The companies said the doses donated would be in addition to those provided under supply agreements with countries worldwide and would not affect the existing agreements.
TTOC president Brian Lewis confirmed the news but said it was too early to predict the possible roll out of vaccines for TT’s Tokyo-bound athletes.
“The IOC announced this (on Thursday)," he said. "We are awaiting specific details. At this point, even if you are vaccinated, you are still subjected to all the strict Tokyo 2020 countermeasures."
Lewis added, “It’s an individual choice. Athletes who wish to be vaccinated have the opportunity but I am not sure how that will work. I am not aware we have Pfizer in Trinidad and Tobago.”
According to Reuters, Japan is considering extending a coronavirus-spurred state of emergency in Tokyo and other major urban areas, fanning concerns about whether the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to begin on July 23, could be held as planned.
In January, Lewis said his organisation will not be requesting early access to covid19 vaccination, adding that the TTOC will support the government’s national vaccination programme that prioritises at-risk people.