Coronavirus: IOC official disagrees COVID-19 vaccine needed for Tokyo Olympics

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The head of the IOC’s co-ordination commission for the Tokyo Olympics said Wednesday he disagrees with suggestions by some scientists and doctors that a vaccine for COVID-19 is needed to hold the games.

John Coates, an International Olympic Committee member from Australia who is a lawyer, said he had seen the opinion but didn’t agree.

“The advice we’re getting from WHO (World Health Organization) says we should continue to plan for this date and that is what we’re doing, and that’s not contingent on a vaccine,” Coates told the Australian Associated Press. “A vaccine would be nice. But we will just continue to be guided by WHO and the Japanese health authorities.”

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On Tuesday, Japan Medical Association president Yoshitake Yokokura said it would only be possible for the Olympics to go ahead in July 2021 if the infections were under control, not only in Japan, but globally.

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“In my view, it would be difficult to hold the Olympics unless effective vaccines are developed,” Yokokura said.

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