17 Apr 2021

Dame Valerie Adams rolls up her sleeve for Covid-19 vaccine

11:27 am on 17 April 2021

Four-time world champion shot putter Dame Valerie Adams has received her first Covid-19 vaccine in Auckland this morning.

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Valerie Adams posted Photo: Supplied/ Valerie Adams

She was given the Pfizer jab at the Mt Wellington Vaccination Centre.

The two-time Olympic gold medal winner said she felt it was important she got the vaccine publicly.

She said the process was really easy and completely painless.

"For me it's a sense of responsibility to be able to encourage my Pacific people to come forward and actually get the vaccination, it's quite important because this is part of keeping our family and our communities safe.

"So hopefully, it just encourages them to seek more information about it, and be well-informed about the whole process, and what this vaccination means for our whole country."

See all RNZ coverage of Covid-19

Olympians are eligible to receive the vaccine early as part of the government's offer to those competing in events of national significance.

Dame Valerie said it was ultimately up to each individual athlete as to whether they get a vaccine, but she believed it was part of keeping the team safe.

"I'm so grateful. I would encourage all of those in the Tongan and Pacific communities to get informed about the vaccination process and to come and get yours when it's your time. You will be contacted when it is your turn."

She added that vaccinations have been a big discussion point amongst the athletic community.

The Olympic Committee has been urged to make it compulsory for athletes going to the Tokyo games to be vaccinated.

"99.9 percent of us are very eager to get it, because for us, ultimately, it gives us an opportunity to leave the country, and leave the border to be able to compete in preparation for Tokyo.

"It's what we're prepared to do, and I'm very prepared to do it myself, so hopefully, everybody within our sporting arena that needs to leave the country, can get this vaccination."

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