United States Olympians Dana Mathewson and Anita Alvarez are privy to the critical nature of obtaining COVID-19 vaccinations, and how vital they are to competing in their sport. Mathewson is receiving her shot soon, and she expressed her eagerness to be vaccinated – regardless of the vaccine’s relatively untested and unknown long-term consequences.

“I’m getting vaccinated on Saturday and I’m really excited about it,” she said. “Personally, with tennis, we have to travel to a lot of different countries to compete and my next events are going to be in Turkey and I don’t mean to stereotype or anything, but I really don’t know what Turkey’s protocols are with COVID or like how safe it’s going to be, so I’m really excited that I have a little bit of a training block right now and I have time to get vaccinated. If anything, it just gives you a little bit more peace of mind, and as much as there is concern about it being new and you’re not really sure like how you’re gonna react to getting the vaccine, I’d much rather have a slightly adverse reaction to a vaccine than actually get COVID, so I’m excited to get vaccinated.”

Alvarez has already received her vaccine, and she is quite excited about what it means for competing in her sport as an individual and alongside her teammates.

“I’ve gotten the vaccine already actually. I think first week of March and then I got the second dose just two weeks ago, and yeah I’m just grateful to have had access to it,” Alvarez said. “I think exactly what Dana had said is just peace of mind to be able to travel and compete with our team and obviously we haven’t done any traveling or competing yet besides a couple virtual things, but just looking forward and ahead towards Tokyo I think we’re just grateful to have gotten access to it and not just for ourselves and for traveling, but also just for the community and you know for more than just ourselves, but protecting the community and beyond… Most of my team has had the vaccine now, so we’re really excited and happy about that.”

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