Organising the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2021 is “very unrealistic” unless a vaccine against the new coronavirus (Covid-19) is developed by then, Edinburgh University public health expert Devi Sridhar said.
“We’re hearing from the scientists that this could be possible,” Professor Sridhar, Chair of Global Health at the University, said, referring to the development of the vaccine. “I had thought it would be a year or a year and a half away, but we’re hearing possibly this could come sooner,” she said on Friday on the British radio channel, BBC.
“If we do get a vaccine within the next year, then actually I think that (Olympics in 2021) is realistic,” she added. “The vaccine will be the game changer – an effective, affordable, available vaccine. […] If we don’t get a scientific breakthrough, then I think that looks very unrealistic.”
Last month, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese organisers announced the postponement of the Olympics due to the coronavirus.
The games have been rescheduled to 23 July – 8 August 2021.