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‘I was very skeptical’: NBA icon James backs Covid jabs, shuns parallels with speaking out on politics, racism & police brutality

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‘I was very skeptical’: NBA icon James backs Covid jabs, shuns parallels with speaking out on politics, racism & police brutality

NBA legend LeBron James has revealed that he decided to have a vaccine after being convinced by his own research, although the social justice warrior will not be using his considerable voice to encourage people to take jabs.

Superstar James is frequently outspoken about major issues, including the Black Lives Matter movement which he passionately supports in the US and accusations of police brutality, becoming involved in controversial exchanges following the killing of Ma’Khia Bryant earlier this year.

The LA Lakers talisman is clearly relucant to encourage people to follow his lead on vaccines, though, despite opting for his family to receive the treatment following his personal investigations.

"I don't talk about other people and what they should do," the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player claimed, responding at a media day after he was asked whether he should use his 'stature' to influence people to take a vaccine.

"I can speak for myself and I think everybody has their own choice to do what is right for them, for their family.

"I know that I was very skeptical about it all, but after doing my research and things of that nature, I felt that it was best suited for my family and friends. That's why I decided to do it.

"When I talk about something that's political or racism or police brutality... [vaccination is] about people's bodies and wellbeing. I don't feel like, personally, I should get into what other people should do for their bodies and livelihoods."

Vaccination has been a contentious issue in many sports, altough 90% of NBA players have reportedly been vaccinated ahead of the the start of the new season on October 19.

Players and coaches have been released from sports teams as a result of being reluctant to become vaccinated, and high-profile athletes have voiced their reservations about the prospect of jabs being made compulsory in order to compete.

Health chiefs behind vaccination campaigns have found key allies with huge reaches in icons such as Neymar, the Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain striker who is the world's most expensive footballer.

Neymar said he hoped the "whole world may be vaccinated" when he shared footage of himself being jabbed with his social media following of hundreds of millions of accounts.

James is not likely to be following that path any time soon. "You have to do what's best for your family," he said.

"I know what I did for me and my family; I know some of my friends and what they did for their families. As far as speaking for people and their individualities, it's not my job."

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The two-dose Pfizer jab became the first vaccine to be fully approved by the American Food and Drug Administration last month, and data has now been submitted for its endorsed use in young children.

Speaking at the time, Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock called the move a "milestone" that would make the public "very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product."

“While millions of people have already safely received Covid-19 vaccines, we recognize that, for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated," she added.

"Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the US.”

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