Britain yet to decide on Pfizer offer to vaccinate Olympians

The British government is still deciding whether to accept an offer from Pfizer to fast-track Olympic and Paralympic athletes for coronavirus vaccines

Pfizer, which developed a vaccine with BioNTech, said earlier this month said that it would donate doses to inoculate athletes and officials preparing for the Tokyo games with the rescheduled Olympics due to open on July 23.

While the Olympics begin in less than 10 weeks, Britain has a policy of delaying the second dose by up to 12 weeks to free up vaccines for more people. Britain announced Sunday that more than 20 million people have now received both doses. The two shots of the Pfizer vaccines were intended to be given three to four weeks apart.

“The government’s vaccine rollout has been excellent and, coupled with the IOC’s donation of the Pfizer vaccine for athletes, means we are hopeful of getting all athletes vaccinated before they travel to Tokyo,” British Olympic Association chairman Hugh Robertson said. “It is important for this to happen soon, to assure our hosts in Tokyo that we are doing all we can to keep their population safe.”

Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are among the European nations to have already offered vaccines to delegations headed to Tokyo.

Japan has been struggling to slow infections ahead of the games and expanded a coronavirus state of emergency from six areas, including Tokyo, to nine on Friday.

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