Olympics participants will be offered a vaccine before the Games.

Athletes and officers touring to the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer time will be offered doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine before arriving in Japan, the International Olympic Committee stated on Thursday, in an effort to reassure the Japanese public about the security of internet hosting the occasion.

The committee said it had struck a deal with the drug makers to ship the doses to Olympic and Paralympic Games participants’ dwelling nations, the place they will be administered by means of home inoculation applications.

The effort is the newest try by Olympic officers and Japanese organizers to assuage the issues of Japanese individuals who don’t need their nation to host the Games throughout the pandemic. Less than 1 p.c of individuals in Japan have been totally vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19, in line with a New York Times database, and eating places, bars and nonessential companies are closed in a number of areas, together with Tokyo.

The initiative was developed “not only to contribute to the safe environment of the Games, but also out of respect for the residents of Japan,” the committee stated in a assertion.

Despite the transfer and an earlier announcement that the committee would buy doses of a Chinese-made vaccine, there is no such thing as a requirement for athletes, coaches, officers and others attending the Games to be vaccinated.

In March, China said it would provide vaccines for Olympic participants. But China’s vaccines haven’t been authorised in lots of nations, and a number of other — together with Japan — said they would decline the offer.

The I.O.C. president, Thomas Bach, acknowledged that accepting the vaccine was voluntary, at the same time as he urged opponents to be inoculated. “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,” he stated.

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