The Pan American Sports Organization announced on Tuesday that it is offering 4,000 Covid-19 vaccines to athletes and officials heading to the Tokyo Olympics later this year.
Panam Sports, as the organization is known, has reached an agreement with the University of Miami and the Mexican consulate in the same city to provide the vaccines.
“We know that in many of our countries on the continent, it is very difficult to receive the Covid-19 vaccine,” Panam Sports president Neven Ilic said in a statement released in Chile.
“Therefore, we have made a significant effort to achieve this exceptional deal which will help all the athletes who have not had the chance to get vaccinated.
“Now, these athletes have the opportunity to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the United States, and thus travel with better protection to compete in the Tokyo Olympics. “
Panam Sports, an organization that represents the 41 national Olympic committees of the Americas, said athletes’ tickets to Miami would be paid for.
Athletes and officials must receive their vaccines at least 30 days before arriving in Japan for the Games, Panam Sports explained.
Immunization programs in much of the region have been slow and many countries are severely affected by the pandemic.
The Olympics, which were postponed from last year due to the pandemic, are scheduled to begin July 23 through August 8, although there is some uncertainty as to how they will unfold.
Many Japanese are against holding the Games as the country, which has one of the world’s oldest populations, grapples with the pandemic.
The organizers, however, insisted that the Games be held “in complete safety” thanks to strict health protocols and the absence of foreign spectators.
© 2021 AFP