2020 Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar has become one of the first professional cyclists to be vaccinated against Covid-19. He and his UAE Team Emirates team-mates – including Fernando Gaviria, who contracted the disease twice – were given a vaccine developed by Sinopharm CNBG at a training camp in Abu Dhabi.
The team said that 27 riders plus 32 staff had been given UAE Ministry of Health & Prevention approved vaccine.
UAE Team Emirates Principal Mauro Gianetti said: “As a UAE team we are enormously proud of the efforts the nation and its leadership has taken at every level to both combat the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and to be a leader in the efforts to bring life back to normal.
“The whole team is delighted to have been given the opportunity to protect ourselves and others through taking the vaccine and we would like to congratulate the UAE and all partners of this program for their incredible work to make this happen.”
Gaviria was one of the world’s first known cases of reinfection. He first tested positive for Covid-19 at the UAE Tour in February – one of several cases at the hotel where the teams were based for the race, which was then cancelled with two stages remaining. He then tested positive again ahead of Stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia in October.
Speaking later that month, team doctor Jeroen Swart said: “In Fernando’s case he is asymptomatic the second time around. This is not a false positive as he has undergone confirmation testing and this confirms his repeat infection.”