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IOC sets up vaccination centers in Qatar, Rwanda

Lausanne, Jun 3 (Plenglish) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Wednesday announced the establishment of two other Covid-19 vaccination centers in Qatar and Rwanda for athletes who will participate at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. According to the governing body, such initiatives will allow athletes who cannot be immunized in their countries of origin to receive one vaccine dose before they travel to Japan.

IOC is in contact with some National Olympic Committees (NOCs) whose athletes are not yet able to access health programs and who would therefore be eligible to travel to the vaccination center in Doha (Qatar) or Kigali (Rwanda), in order to receive one Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine dose. Interested NOCs can apply for Olympic solidarity travel assistance in case they really need it and according to James Macleod, IOC official, such additional vaccination initiatives contribute to the Olympic Games´ safety.

Joaan Bin Hamad Al-Thani, president of the Qatar Olympic Committee (COQ), reiterated his support for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and highlighted the COQ organizing committee´s efforts to guarantee a safe sports event. ‘We all have a responsibility to make up for this hard work by doing everything possible to protect the health of Japanese and all participants,’ said Hamad Al-Thani.

Doha Vaccination Center joins the COQ’s confirmation that it will also host the Olympic Refugee Team in early July at a training camp prior to their trip to Tokyo. Last week, IOC President Thomas Bach confirmed that up to 75% of athletes hosted at the Olympic Village are already vaccinated.

In this regard, IOC announced on May 6 the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE to donate anti-Covid-19 vaccine doses. In addition, IOC has received an offer from the Chinese Olympic Committee, host of the Beijing 2022Winter Games, to help make vaccines available.
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