The Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) will begin immunising all its Tokyo 2020 athletes. officials and participating media against COVID-19 from May 14 having taken up the offer of vaccine from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Sinovac or Pfizer vaccine will be used, depending on availability, and the IOC will supply enough doses for two more Brazilians to each member of the vaccinated delegation.
The forecast is that around 1,800 Brazilians will be vaccinated before travelling to Japan, which will mean around 3,600 others benefiting through the National Immunisation Plan according to the IOC’s offer.
The list of those to be immunised included all athletes and officials already classified or with a chance of participating in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games as well as Brazilians who will work in Japan during the Games as members of the accredited media and companies.
The COB announcement was made in Brasilia at an event attended by the Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, the Minister of Citizenship, João Roma, the Special Secretary for Sport, Marcelo Magalhães, and the director of Military Sports Department of the Ministry of Defense, Major-Brigadier Isaias Carvalho, in addition to the vice president of the COB Marco Antônio La Porta Júnior.
"We only opened conversations about the possibility of immunising the delegation when we confirmed that, for each athlete or vaccinated official, the country will receive two more doses to immunise the Brazilian population," said La Porta, who is also Brazil’s Chef de Mission at the Games.
"This is a great contribution from the Olympic Movement at this very difficult time that the world is facing.
"Even without the vaccine being mandatory for participation in the Games, there is no doubt that we will feel safer to represent Brazil in the Olympic Games."
In March, the IOC announced that the Chinese Olympic Committee had offered to vaccinate Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 teams, with the IOC paying for the cost of each dose and for additional doses for the general population.
"The Chinese Olympic Committee is ready in cooperation with the IOC to make these additional doses available in two ways," IOC President Thomas Bach said during the 137th IOC Session.
"Either via collaboration with international partners or directly in the numerous countries where agreements regarding Chinese vaccines are already in place.
"The IOC will pay for these additional doses of vaccines for the Olympic and Paralympic team.
"For each of these additional doses, the IOC will also pay for two doses more that can be made available to population in that country."
The IOC said on May 6 that it had struck an additional deal with the developers of the Pfizer vaccine to donate doses to athletes heading to the Tokyo 2020 Games.