Simona Halep has become one of the first active tennis players to get the Covid-19 vaccine.
The 29-year-old received her first dose on Wednesday at the Cantacuzino Institute in Bucharest. Romania’s vaccine czar said he hoped that her getting a jab would encourage other Romanians to follow her example.
She spoke to reporters afterwards.
„I wanted to get vaccinated. I came with an open mind and I’m fine. I was vaccinated with Pfizer. I’m fine, I haven’t had any side effects now. It’s for everyone’s sake and that’s why I decided to get vaccinated,” Ms Halep said after getting the shot.
The world No. 3 qualifies for getting the vaccine now due to her status as an Olympic athlete. Romanian authorities are also hoping that others will take her lead to boost the vaccine rate.
Ms Halep contracted Covid-19 in October after skipping the US Open in New York and losing in the fourth round of Roland Garros. She just reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open this month, losing to Serena Williams, and has withdrawn from next week’s WTA 500 in Doha.
As per guidelines, she’d need to get her second dose during the week of March 15, meaning she could still play Dubai.
Vaccine coordinator Valeriu Gheorghita was at the vaccine center on Wednesday morning when she got her jab. He gave her a bouquet of white roses and purple flowers after she’d had her shot.
“I wanted to thank her for everything she’s done for our country; she’s an important ambassador of Romania worldwide,” and I appreciate her for publicly saying she’d like to get inoculated.
„It’s important for everyone who gets the vaccine, just by doing it, can persuade other people to get shots…. So we can reach our goal of 70% of people vaccinated.”