‘Thrilled’ Pfizer-BioNTech seals deal with grateful Olympic & Paralympic chiefs
Pfizer's CEO has described the company as "thrilled" and the boss of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has said he is "extremely grateful" about the donation of doses to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is working with national committees as part of a huge vaccine drive ahead of the showpiece in February.
An agreement with the Covid vaccine powerhouses is a key part of their strategy to help everyone traveling to the Games to become vaccinated.
Competitors who are not fully jabbed will face an arduous 21-day quarantine period after arriving in Beijing.
❌𝗕𝗥𝗘𝗔𝗞𝗜𝗡𝗚❌ Beijing offers Covid vaccine booster shots ahead of Winter Olympics: The Chinese capital has begun rolling out the shots to people participating, organising or working at the Games. VIA @breakingnewsie - @BHheadlines— BH HEADLINES© (@BHheadlines) October 22, 2021
“We are thrilled that our Covid-19 vaccine will again help as part of the efforts to support Olympic and Paralympic athletes and delegations,” Pfizer boss Albert Bourla responded, adding that it was "important to note" that the doses would be produced in addition to existing quotas.
“We hope they will enjoy a sense of global community while competing at the highest level.”
Ugur Sahin, the CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, said the group was "honored" to "support the safety" of the Games by contributing vaccines.
“The return of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games is an historic moment representing the global community and how we stand together,” he said.
“With more than two billion doses already delivered, our vaccine continues to help protect lives around the world and reconnect after these months when the virus has been separating us."
Pfizer donates vaccines to ...athletes to enable the Beijing Winter Olympics to go ahead. The pharma giant has made more than $35b in profit this year alone from its COVID vax while programs trying to distribute jabs to the poor have struggled to secure the vaccines they need. pic.twitter.com/lrWUtYecJJ— Latika M Bourke (@latikambourke) November 19, 2021
IPC President Andrew Parsons said that the entire Paralympic movement was "extremely grateful" to the IOC for securing the donations.
“This is another measure in our plan to stage safe Games for the athletes and all the participants and builds on our successful collaboration," said IOC President Thomas Bach, adding his gratitude.
Pfizer-BioNTech has had a busy week after the US Food and Drug Administration deployed an emergency use authorization to approve its booster jab for adults on Friday.
The authorization, which came two months later than president Joe Biden had wanted, arrived amid data showing that the efficacy of vaccines wanes over time.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 95 percent effective at preventing infection from the virus in people who receive two doses and have no evidence of being previously infected.
The CDC recommends the treatment for anyone aged over five, adding that it has an efficacy of more than 90 percent in children.
Side effects are said to be more common after a second dose, and 'rare cases' of myocarditis and pericarditis have been reported in adolescents and young adults.
A data summary said that Covid vaccines will "continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in US history."