© Copyright – 2021 – Athletics Illustrated

Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to donate does of their COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine will be available to all athletes and delegates prior to the start of the Games on July 23, 2021.

The IOC is now tasked with coordinating with national Olympic committees to roll out the vaccine. The vaccinations are scheduled to be available at the end of May. Everyone should receive both shots prior to the opening ceremonies.

The New York Times reported (Rebecca Robbins and Peter S. Goodman, Pfizer Reaps Hundreds of Millions in Profits from Covid Vaccine, May 4, 2021) that the Pfizer vaccine has generated $3.5 billion (USD) in revenue during the first quarter of 2021. This is nearly one-quarter of its annual revenue.

“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 and to show solidarity with our gracious Japanese hosts,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “We are inviting 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 only about personal health, but also about solidarity and consideration of the wellbeing of others in their communities. We would like to thank Pfizer and BioNTech for this very generous donation to support the vaccination of athletes and Games participants ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020,” he added.

“With hundreds of millions of vaccines already administered, and hundreds of millions more to go, Pfizer is committed, together with BioNTech, to doing all we can to help end this pandemic and help return the world to a sense of normalcy,” said Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer. “The return of the Olympic and Paralympic Games represents a monumental moment of world unity and peace after a grueling year of isolation and devastation. We are proud to play a role in providing vaccines to athletes and national Olympic delegations.”

“Providing vaccines to Games participants is one of the critical ways to help ensure the Games are as safe and successful as possible. With more than 430 million doses already delivered, our vaccine continues to help protect lives around the world and bring us back to our normal lives,” said Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and Co-Founder of BioNTech. “This year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games are an historic moment representing the global community and how we stand together. We are honored to be able to contribute vaccines to support the safety of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”