Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich told German TV on Sunday that he will get vaccinated against the coronavirus after his earlier reluctance brought him to the forefront of Germany’s debate on vaccine hesitancy.
Kimmich’s decision comes after he tested positive for the virus last month. He said he lost his senses of smell and taste for a time while he was ill and won’t play until next month because of water deposits in his lungs following the infection.
“Broadly, it was just difficult for me to deal with my fears and concerns, and that’s why I remained undecided for so long,” Kimmich told public broadcaster ZDF.
Kimmich said in a post-game TV interview in October that he had not yet made a decision about whether to be vaccinated and voiced reservations about vaccines.
The player’s comments caused concern among public health experts at a time when vaccine take-up in Germany had slowed, and became a political talking-point.
Kimmich said on Sunday he had previously been hoping to avoid the coronavirus through measures such as social distancing without being vaccinated, but that he booked a vaccine appointment shortly before his illness.