Japan's Olympic team to receive vaccine next month

Athletes and other members of Japan's potential delegation to the Tokyo Olympics will be vaccinated against the coronavirus starting on June 1.

The Japanese Olympic Committee made the announcement on Wednesday.

The JOC says it estimates that about 1,600 delegation members will be given vaccines mainly by team doctors at Ajinomoto National Training Center in Tokyo's Kita Ward. They include athletes who have qualified or are likely to qualify for the Games, their coaches and staff who may have contact with the athletes.

The committee says the vaccinations will be done on a voluntary basis.

The estimated number of those subject to vaccinations does not include athletes being inoculated ahead of schedule for qualifying competitions abroad.

The Japanese Paralympic Committee is arranging its own vaccination program for the country's delegation.

With no end to the pandemic in sight, vaccinations of national teams are being accelerated across the world. IOC President Thomas Bach said at least 80 percent of athletes, coaches and other staff who will stay in the Olympic Village are expected to get a shot before the Games.

The International Olympic Committee earlier signed a memorandum of understanding with Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech on donating vaccine doses for Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics participants.