Athletes urged to get vaccine
Olympic "participants" and fans arriving for next year's postponed Tokyo Games will be encouraged to be vaccinated to protect the public, IOC President Thomas Bach said Monday.
Bach campaigned across Tokyo on Monday, his first visit to Japan since the Olympics were postponed almost 8 months ago amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"In order to protect the Japanese people and out of respect for the Japanese people, the IOC will undertake great effort so that as many people as possible - Olympic participants and visitors will arrive here with a vaccine, if by then a vaccine is available," Bach said after talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
"We want to convince as many foreign participants as possible to accept a vaccine," Bach added later after meeting with Yoshiro Mori, the head of the local organizing committee. " This makes us all very confident that we can have spectators in the Olympic stadiums next year and that spectators will enjoy a safe environment."
A possible vaccine was announced last week by Pfizer Inc, which could greatly help the IOC and local organizers stage the Olympics.
The Olympics are scheduled to open on July 23, 2021.