Worried that a coronavirus outbreak could ruin his chances at the European Championships, Spain sent the army on Friday to vaccinate the national football team three days before its tournament opening match.
Medics from the Spanish Armed Forces fired shots at the team’s training facility near Madrid.
“We had the privilege and luck that the government decided to vaccinate us,” said Spanish midfielder Thiago, who was infected with COVID-19 last year. “Although this is great news for us, I hope we do not have any adverse effects before the match.”
Spain will play Sweden in Sevilla on Monday in their opening match Euro 2020.
Some people who receive vaccines may develop fever and fatigue, but many have no side effects.
The government has allowed the football team to be vaccinated early in Spain, which maintains a strict age-based order. Currently, no one under the age of 40 qualifies for a shot.
Spain has also given special permission to its athletes heading to the Tokyo Olympics to receive vaccinations against the virus.
Spain’s preparations for the biggest national national football tournament were suspended this week after both captain Sergio Busquets and defender Diego Llorente were positive.
Subsequent tests of Llorente were found to be negative, so that its initial positive result may have been incorrect. The team said it could return soon.
The bouquet has a positive result on Sunday and is below a minimum of 10 days of isolation. But the team said it was feeling well and hoped to return during the tournament.