— Published 20 September 2021

The IOC wants to distribute its vaccines

Beijing 2022

With less than five months to go before the opening, the sanitary rules that will be imposed on the Beijing 2022 Winter Games by the Chinese organisers remain unclear. But the IOC is not waiting to know the details before inviting future delegations to request vaccines. In a letter sent late last week, Thomas Bach called on National Olympic Committees to make their vaccine needs known without delay. “I would like to encourage the National Olympic Committees that need additional doses of vaccine to inform our NOC Relations Department as soon as possible, so that we can put the necessary arrangements in place,” explained the IOC President. In his letter, the German leader also emphasised the “excellent cooperation” with “our Chinese partners and friends, as well as with the competent Chinese sanitary authorities”. However, he did not provide further details on the rules that will be applied to the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, especially the ones regarding quarantine. As a reminder, the IOC announced a programme to distribute vaccines to athletes and officials, in collaboration with the Chinese authorities, last March, four months before the Tokyo Games. The Chinese vaccines were purchased by the IOC and made available to delegations from countries that had approved their use for the Tokyo Games. Two months later, Pfizer and BioNTech followed suit by donating vaccine doses to the IOC. On reading Thomas Bach’s letter, it seems that the Olympic body has not used up its entire stock for the Tokyo Games. About 100 countries are likely to participate in the Beijing Olympics, which represents about half the number that took part in the Tokyo Summer Games.