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Kimmich tests positive for Covid before expected vaccine jab

2:02 AM SGT 25/11/21
JOSHUA KIMMICH BAYERN MÜNCHEN
The Germany international had been revealed to have changed his opinion on the injection this week

Bayern Munich star Joshua Kimmich has tested positive for Covid, the club announced on Wednesday.

His infection comes just after Germany boss Hansi Flick revealed that he expected the midfielder to get vaccinated despite previously expressing reservations about the jab.

Kimmich has found himself at the centre of a national debate in Germany after revealing he was concerned about the lack of long-term studies into the effects of the vaccine.

What was said?

Asked whether he believed Kimmich would be getting vaccinated before news of the positive test emerged, Flick told reporters: "Yes, I assume, I think that it is going in this direction. We talked and I think it was a very good conversation. Now we have to wait and see.”

Flick also defended Kimmich from some of the backlash he has received for his vaccine stance, insisting that the 26-year-old wanted to do his research before making a decision.

"Jo Kimmich is not to blame for the high number of infections. I don't think it's good that he is being pilloried in this way. It's not that easy for you young people to deal with something like that.

“I know that he thinks about a lot of things. He's not someone who gets vaccinated because of pressure. But because of conviction.”

The bigger picture

Kimmich has vigorously denied being a Covid denier or anti-vaxxer, insisting he merely had concerns about the long-term effects of the vaccine.

However, that has not stopped anti-vaccine groups from seizing on his comments to further their cause and thrusting Kimmich into the heart of the debate.

In response, medical professionals and even German Chancellor Angela Merkel have intervened to urge Kimmich to get the jab.

This has all played out amid a backdrop of surging cases across Germany and fears hospitals could become overstretched this winter.

The midfielder had already been in quarantine after coming into contact with someone who has since tested positive for Covid-19. He will continue to self-isolate.

As he is unvaccinated Kimmich faces a longer quarantine period than those who have had the jab. As a result, he missed Bayern’s defeat at Augsburg on Friday and Tuesday’s Champions League win against Dynamo Kiev.

He also had to isolate last week and missed Germany’s final World Cup qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Armenia after being deemed a close contact of Bayern team-mate Niklas Sule, who subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.

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