With two Olympic Games scheduled in the next 12 months, the COVID-19 vaccination process is ramping up for Olympians.
The Associated Press reports that an International Olympic Committee meeting Thursday revealed that the IOC is teaming up with China to vaccinate individuals preparing for the Tokyo Summer Olympics in July and the Beijing Winter Olympics next February.
“We are grateful for this offer, which is in the true Olympic spirit of solidarity,” IOC president Thomas Bach said when announcing the deal, noting that extra doses for the general public will be given to countries participating in the IOC’s vaccination program.
According to The Associated Press, China pledged about a half billion doses of its vaccines to more than 45 countries. Japan launched its vaccination rollout last month.
In January, the IOC denied reports that the Tokyo Games would be canceled by the coronavirus. The event was originally scheduled to be held last summer, but was pushed back by the pandemic.
"Some news reports circulating today are claiming that the government of Japan has privately concluded that the Tokyo Olympics will have to be canceled because of the coronavirus," said the January statement from the IOC, which was reported by CNN. "This is categorically untrue ... All parties involved are working together to prepare for a successful Games this summer."
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