After months of proposals and assessments to try to determine whether hosting the Olympics could be safe, the International Olympic Committee (I.O.C.) has announced that it has reached deals with Pfizer and BioNTech that will allow them to have the necessary doses to vaccinate all athletes and officials before the Tokyo Olympics in July. This is on top of previous news that the International Olympic Committee would be buying and distributing Chinese vaccines.
The I.O.C’s announcement comes at a time when a vast number of the Japanese public opposes the Olympics, thinking that the country should not host them due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of May, only one percent of the Japanese population has received the vaccination, and despite the I.O.C’s efforts to vaccinate athletes and officials, the Japanese government has not required athletes, officials, coaches, and attendees to get vaccinated before entering Japan.
Japan is currently experiencing a surge in cases that are not slowing down quickly enough, with cities like Osaka and Tokyo being the most affected. Governor Koike has asked for the state of emergency to be extended until May 31, 2021.