The Minister of the Interior and several doctors criticized the speech of the Bayern Munich player, who expressed his reluctance vis-à-vis the vaccination against the coronavirus.
It’s a funny scene that says a lot about the extent of the Joshua Kimmich “affair” across the Rhine. Guest this Wednesday on the tabloid television channel image, the German Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer, challenged the Bayern Munich midfielder, who had admitted a few days earlier not to have been vaccinated against Covid-19. “Think it over again and get vaccinated!” You are a role model: if you get vaccinated, other people will say ‘me too’ ”, insisted the conservative leader, whose portfolio also includes Sports.
On Monday, government spokesperson Steffen Seibert recalled that there were scientific answers “Clear and convincing” which demonstrated the effectiveness of vaccines against the coronavirus. He said he hoped Joshua Kimmich would take this information into account and change his mind, “Because as a person admired by millions of others, he would then have all the more a role model”.
The controversy arose at the end of last week, when image has revealed that the Germany international, who recently wore the captain’s armband with the national team, was one of five Bayern Munich players to refuse to be vaccinated yet.
On Saturday, the person had to defend himself at the microphone of Sky, after a match against Hoffenheim. “I am not a coronasceptic or an antivax”, protested the one who had founded with his teammate Leon Goretzka the platform We Kick Corona, intended to support social or medical organizations fighting against Covid-19. “I am of course aware of my responsibilities. I respect the sanitary rules and I get tested every three days. I just have concerns ”, he added, claiming to have doubts about the long-term effects of the vaccination. In the same interview, the footballer specifies that his decision is not final and that he could well be vaccinated in the future.
“Not an expert on vaccination”
The words of the 26-year-old player, considered one of the best of his generation, angered several doctors in his country, while contaminations are on the rise in Germany as in other Western European countries. . “Joshua Kimmich is certainly a recognized expert in football, but not in vaccination”, annoyed the head of the German expert group on the use of vaccines, Thomas Mertens. He recalled that many studies had already shown that the long-term effects of vaccination “Did not exist, or were extremely rare”.
“People believe that they are going to get the vaccine and that maybe next year they will have serious side effects. This is not how it works, Carsten Watzl, professor of immunology at the Technical University of Dortmund, confirmed to the public broadcaster ARD. The side effects of a vaccine always appear directly after vaccination, within a few weeks. “
The Bayern Munich midfielder is among the extreme minority of professional players in Germany who have not been vaccinated. According to the boss of the German Football League, Christian Seifert, 94% of them are. In Germany, 66.4%, or two-thirds of a population of 83 million, are fully immunized, according to official data.