Sport Olympics-Brazil to start vaccinating athletes, staff headed to Tokyo Games
Tokyo Olympics could be held without fans: Games chief to AFP
This summer's virus-postponed Olympics could be held behind closed doors, Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto told AFP on Friday, pledging to ensure the Games will be safe. When the Games were postponed last year, officials said the delayed event would be held as proof that humanity had triumphed over the virus. But with the pandemic still raging, Hashimoto said the emphasis would be on hope and unity."It will show that the world can come together no matter how hard times are. I think this is a time when we can show that we are united," she said.
(Reuters) - Brazilian athletes and staff travelling to Tokyo for the Olympics will receive COVID-19 vaccines with the first doses set to be administered on Friday, the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) has said.
The COB said they are looking to administer the second dose by June 21 -- two weeks before the start of the July 23-Aug. 8 Games. Paralympic participants will also get their shots before the Games begin on Aug. 24.
Around 1,800 people are set to be vaccinated across six cities, with COB vice-president Head of Mission Marco Antonio La Porta saying the Brazilian population would receive two doses for every person on the delegation who is vaccinated.
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"This is a great contribution from the Olympic Movement at this very difficult time that the world is facing," La Porta told reporters.
"Even without the vaccine being mandatory for participation in the Games, there is no doubt that we will feel safer to represent Brazil in the Olympic Games."
Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said they would be using either the Pfizer or the Sinovac shots.
Brazil has recorded the second-deadliest COVID-19 outbreak in the world and continues to average more than 2,000 deaths per day. More than 425,000 people have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to the Health Ministry.
On Tuesday, the Health Ministry announced it had signed a deal for Pfizer to deliver an additional 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, doubling the number of shots from the company.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)
Brazil struggles to vaccinate as Covid toll spirals .
Four months into a Covid-19 vaccination campaign marred by shortages and delays, hard-hit Brazil is still struggling to find enough doses, as political and diplomatic blunders prolong its pandemic nightmare. Around 33 million people -- 15 percent of the population -- have received at least one vaccine dose in Brazil, a proportion still too small to have a substantial impact on the virus' spread. Targeted by a Senate inquiry over its handling of the pandemic, President Jair Bolsonaro's government is facing criticism for failing to secure more vaccines, including its refusal of offers to purchase millions of doses and diplomatic tension with China that may be slowing