IOC to Source Chinese Vaccines for Tokyo, Beijing Olympic Competitors

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president, Thomas Bach, announced Thursday that China has offered to provide COVID-19 vaccines for any participant of this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and next year’s Beijing’s Winter Games.

Bach also revealed the Olympic committee will cover the cost of the any Olympic and Paralympic participant’s vaccination, and that vaccines will be distributed through international agencies.

Nearly 10,000 athletes are set to compete in the Olympics, and Beach revealed “a significant number” of the athletes have already been vaccinated.

The Tokyo Games chief, Seiko Hashimoto, also denied reports that fans overseas would be excluded from attending the Games, set to take place between July 23 and Aug. 8. “We are still continuing discussions and have not yet reached a conclusion,” Hashimoto clarified, adding she was hopeful the final decision would be reached prior to the Olympic torch relay on March 25. 

With only four months before the Games begin, many of the qualifying events have been disrupted due to COVID-19 restrictions. The IOC have been given a deadline of June 29 to complete qualifying, as 25% of the athlete places currently remain unfilled. 

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