Ukraine president bares biceps to join shirtless vaccine craze

Ukraine’s president stripped down to receive a coronavirus vaccine shot Tuesday in a bid to dispel widespread public skepticism about vaccination.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy got a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine as he visited the military near the area of the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“Vaccine will let us live without restrictions again,” he wrote on Twitter along with a photo of himself shirtless.

The photo was retweeted hundreds of times by Wednesday and came after other European politicians posted similar images of themselves, albeit showing less skin.

Usually, rolling up the sleeve is all that is needed to present a suitable target area for the injection jab.

Last month France’s Health Minister Oliver Veran posted a photo of himself being inoculated with his shirt half off and carefully arranged to prevent a nipple-slipping wardrobe malfunction.

A month earlier Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis got his shot, shirt half off, with no attempt to conceal what was exposed of his hairy chest.

Lawmakers from Britain’s Conservative party have also made waves on social media with their shirtless vaccination poses.

However, in line with the principle that less is more, Croatian Finance Minister Zdravko Marić kept himself covered up when he got his shot in January, though his tight T-shirt struggled to contain his pectorals above a well-defined six-pack.

Zelenskiy got the shot even though he had the coronavirus in November. His move comes as many medical experts, who have priority to get the vaccine, refuse to receive it.

Ukraine began the immunization effort last week after receiving its first 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from India. It plans to give the shots to 14.4 million people, or about a third of its population.

Overall in the pandemic, Ukraine has recorded more than 1.3 million infections and 26,212 deaths.

Ukraine expects to receive more doses of vaccine through the UN-supported COVAX distribution program, including those produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Novavax. The country also signed an agreement to purchase 1.9 million doses from China’s Sinovac Biotech.


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