TOKYO (CelebrityAccess) — Japan’s medical community has expressed doubt about the Olympic Games taking place in 2021 without an effective coronavirus vaccine in place.
During a conference call with the media on Tuesday, Japan Medical Association president Yoshitake Yokokura said that the Oylmpics would only be possible if COVID-19 was under control, not only in Japan, but internationally as well, which, in his view, largely hinges on the sucessful deployment of a vaccine.
“In my view, it would be difficult to hold the Olympics unless effective vaccines are developed,” Yokokura said.
The Games, which Japan has invested more than $10 billions of dollars to stage, were originally scheduled to take place in July, but were postponed until 2021 as the virus began to spread in Japan.
Japan has currently recorded more than 13,000 cases of COVID-19, with the Health Ministry on Tuesday reporting 389 deaths in the country from the virus.
According to the Associated Press, Japan has also cast doubts on if the games will take place at all if they are delayed again in 2021.
“No, in that situation, it will be canceled,” Yoshiro Mori, a former prime minister who is currently serving as president of the Olympics Organizing Committee told Nikkan Sports. “In the past, when there were such problems, like wartime, it has been canceled. This time, we are fighting an invisible enemy.”
The development and widespread deployment of a vaccine for COVID-19 before next summer appears unlikely due to the logistical challenges of developing the vaccine and ramping up manufacturing to produce enough to make it effective.
“Science is just half the battle,” Devi Sridhar, a professor of Global Health at the University of Edinburgh told The Associated Press. “The other half is manufacturing enough doses and getting these into people across the world.”