Kimmich regrets no vaccine after COVID-injury


Bayern Munich‘s Joshua Kimmich has said he regrets not making the decision to get a COVID-19 vaccine sooner after the midfielder was ruled out until January due to lingering effects of coronavirus.

Kimmich, who has returned to light training but is struggling with minor lung issues after contracting COVID-19 in November, said last week he would miss the remainder of the year.

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“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 ZDN on Sunday.

“Maybe I had to go through what I have now gone through first. Of course, looking back, I would like to make the vaccination decision earlier, but at the time it wasn’t possible for me.”

Kimmich revealed in October he was unvaccinated and the club came out in support of the player, a move that triggered a storm of criticism across Germany.

The midfielder said he had previously been hoping to avoid coronavirus through measures such as social distancing without being vaccinated.

Following Kimmich’s comments, Germany’s education and research minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger praised the midfielder and tweeted: “As a professional footballer and national player, he is a role model for many people. More vaccinations are the way out of the pandemic.”

The 26-year-old, who was voted No. 2 among central midfielders in ESPN’s FC 100 for 2021, said he understood the criticism that was directed his way but that some of it went too far.

“I have to say personally that some of the limits have been exceeded,” Kimmich added.

“I also had the feeling that there was one or the other who tried to distinguish themselves through this situation. It wasn’t always just objective criticism.”

Bayern, who are six points clear in the Bundesliga, travel to face Stuttgart on Tuesday.

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