Pelé gets his first COVID-19 shot, urges mask use


SAO PAULO — Pelé received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, calling it an “unforgettable day.”

The 80-year-old Brazilian soccer great posted the news on his social media channels along with a picture of himself receiving the shot in his right arm.

Pelé, a three-time World Cup champion, did not disclose where the dose was given, but he has been staying at his home in Guaruja, outside Sao Paulo, since the pandemic hit Brazil one year ago.

“Today is an unforgettable day — I received the vaccine!,” Pelé said. “The pandemic is not over yet. We must keep discipline to preserve lives until many people have taken the vaccine.”

Less than 4% of Brazil’s population has been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Brazil has the world’s second highest COVID-19 death toll, nearing 260,000 victims. Last week was the country’s deadliest since the beginning of the pandemic, with 8,244 confirmed virus-related deaths.

Pelé also urged his followers to wash their hands and stay home if possible.

“When you go out please don’t forget your mask and maintain social distance. This will pass if we can think of others and help each other,” he said.

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