Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac will donate 50,000 doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to South American football confederation CONMEBOL in a bid to protect players for upcoming tournaments.

CONMEBOL announced on Tuesday that the jabs will be used to inoculate players ahead of the Copa America in June and for other regional tournaments.

“This is a huge step forward to beat the COVID-19 pandemic, but it doesn’t mean that we will in any way relax,” CONMEBOL president Alejandro Domínguez said in a statement.

The football body said it is the first confederation to obtain a vaccine for widespread immunisation, but it gave no details about who will get the vaccines and when.

Uruguay President Luis Lacalle Pou, who worked as mediator, “was crucial for the completion of a deal of great importance for South American soccer,” CONMEBOL said.

READ: Athletes likely to be vaccinated before Tokyo…

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