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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Qatar, Rwanda to be ‘final vaccination hubs’ for Tokyo 2020 Olympians


The International Olympic Committee, in coordination with Qatar’s Olympic body, has established pre-Games Covid-19 vaccination centres.

Qatar and Rwanda will host pre-Games vaccination hubs for all Olympic and Paralympic Games athletes that have yet to receive their Covid-19 vaccines, the International Olympic Committee confirmed.

The two vaccination centres will allow participants for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics who are unable to get vaccinated in their home countries to take the jab before heading to the Games in Japan.

“We are delighted to be a part of this excellent initiative and to contribute to safe Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. We are grateful to our colleagues in Japan and the IOC for their tremendous efforts in ensuring the Games can go ahead safely. We all have a responsibility to repay this hard work by doing everything we can to protect the health of the Japanese people and all Games participants,” said President of the Qatar Olympic Committee Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al-Thani.

Read also: Qatar’s beach volleyball team qualifies for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

The two hubs will both offer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, in line with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Pfizer and BioNTech and the IOC to donate doses of the companies’ Covid-19 vaccine to Games participants from National Olympic and Paralympic Committees around the world.

The IOC has been in contact with a few NOCs whose athletes are not yet able to access vaccination programmes. These athletes are now eligible to travel to either a hub in Doha  or in the Rwandan capital of Kigali.

Concerned NOCs can apply for travel support from Olympic Solidarity should they need it, with IOC ready to cover travel costs if necessary.

So far, as many as 75 percent of the residents of the Olympic Village are already vaccinated, and the IOC believes that this figure will increase beyond 80 percent by the time the Games start.

The Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo from July 30 to August 8 2021 and the Paralympic Games will take place from August 24 to September 5.

The Doha vaccination centre comes in addition to the QOC’s confirmation that it will also host the Refugee Olympic Team in early July in a training camp in Doha prior to the team’s travel to Tokyo.

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