Bill Gates says Tokyo Olympics' fate depends on vaccine roll-out: Kyodo

Tokyo (AFP) –


Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates said the Tokyo Olympics are "still possible" this year depending on the roll-out of coronavirus vaccinations, Japan's Kyodo News reported on Wednesday.

Gates, whose foundation has donated $1.75 billion towards efforts to fight Covid-19, told Kyodo that the next few months would be crucial for the postponed 2020 Games.

"In the next few months, we have to look at the progress we make," Gates told Kyodo, referring to vaccine distribution.

"But you know, I think it's still possible if things go well."

He added: "If things don't go well, that would be unfortunate, but you know, we're doing our best to help those vaccines get approved and get going for the entire world."

With Covid-19 still a major problem across the globe, doubts have been growing over the feasibility of holding the Olympics this year, although organisers insist the delayed event will go ahead.

The International Olympic Committee said this week it was determined to hold a "safe and secure" Tokyo Games, and urged participants to be vaccinated.

The IOC is due to hold an executive board meeting on Wednesday, with Tokyo 2020 on the agenda.