Dame Valerie Adams got the first of her Covid-19 vaccinations in Auckland today, not only urging her fellow Olympic athletes to do the same, but also the Pacific community.
Adams was named in the 15-strong initial athletics team for the 2021 Tokyo games and the three-time Olympic medallist had a message for her teammates.
“Hopefully everybody within the Tokyo team comes to their senses and gets the vaccination done,” Adams said.
Gearing up for her fifth Olympic appearance, Adams emphasised the importance of the vaccine in ensuring a smooth build-up to the games, and despite being an advocate for the jab, the 36-year-old says that the decision to receive the vaccination lies with the individual.
She does, however, strongly recommend that other athletes bound for Tokyo sign up for the shot with concerns among some others in the New Zealand Olympic team raised over the vaccine.
“It’s their own personal choice, it’s totally up to them, surely,” Adams said.
“Ultimately, for me, I’m doing my bit to keep myself safe but also my teammates safe - this is a very small part of it.
“If a Covid vaccination is one of those things you just got to do to get these Olympics underway and going then, why not?”
Adams' decision to receive the vaccine wasn’t solely made from a professional standpoint either. She said that having at-risk family members is another reason why she lined up for the jab.
“I’ve got a type-1 diabetes son, he’s immunocompromised so as soon as my whole family is done, I can rest and be at ease.”
Adams also hopes that letting the public see her receive the injection encourages people in the Pasifika community to get the inoculation as well.
“I think that for me it’s a sense of responsibility to be able to encourage my pacific people to come forward and actually get the vaccination,” she said.
“It’s a part of keeping our family and our community 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 country.”