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Final Stretch: athletes encourage to vaccinate against COVID-19

At a press conference promoting the National Vaccination Programme, Polish athletes Otylia Jędrzejczak (former swimming champion and Olympic medalist), Kinga Dróżdż (fencer), Piotr Małachowski (discus thrower) and Konrad Bukowiecki (shot putter) together with the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki encouraged people to vaccinate against COVID-19 in a new campaign called “The final stretch”.

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The athletes emphasised that this was the only way to return to normalcy and ensure safety for themselves and their loved ones. “For us, athletes, it is extremely important that we can return to physical activity, to compete with the audience present and that we ourselves can feel safe in the sports arenas, among ourselves, which is why these vaccinations are so important to us” Otylia Jędrzejczak said.

She emphasised that, first of all, people vaccinate to protect themselves, and then “they share that safety with their loved ones.” The former swimmer pointed out that the most important thing is that vaccination allows you to feel safe and “return to normalcy.” Kinga Dróżdż stressed that vaccinations gave the athletes “inner peace” and allowed them to prepare for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“The Home Stretch campaign will be based mainly on athletes,” the government plenipotentiary for vaccination and the head of the PM’s office (KPRM), Michał Dworczyk said, during the inauguration of the campaign. He added that it will be the largest and one of the most important campaigns, because the return to normalcy will depend on it.

“We would like to thank all the athletes who took part, because they are the main focus of the campaign, which encourages vaccination, to obtain herd immunity,” Mr Dworczyk added.

The head of KPRM added that special offers will be provided to local governments and to Primary Care Facilities (POZ), to speed up the vaccination process among seniors which are the most exposed to COVID-19. “It is the duty of all of us to make every effort to ensure that this collective immunity becomes a fact as soon as possible,” Mr Dworczyk emphasised.

As of Friday morning, a total of 15,144,771 people in Poland have been vaccinated so far, including 11,112,068 with the first dose and 4,241,956 with the second dose or the J&J vaccine.

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