Filippo Pozzato has shown signs of improvement in his COVID-19 condition, with the former Italian pro urging others not to make the same mistake as he did, and to get vaccinated.
Having fallen ill and tested positive towards the end of October, Pozzato was admitted to hospital last Tuesday, where he has been treated for pneumonia with supplemental oxygen.
He was first fitted with a nasal tube and then moved onto an oxygen mask, but the deterioration now appears to have been arrested.
"I'm better, they made me get up and I even took a shower," Pozzato told La Gazzetta dello Sport (opens in new tab) in a short update on Tuesday.
Pozzato, 40, began to feel ill on October 22, three days shy of his appointment for his first vaccine dose.
He had the opportunity to receive the vaccine earlier but declined, partly due to the demands of the 'Ride the Dreamland' series of races he was organising in October, and partly due to feeling 'strong' enough to do without it.
It is a decision he now regrets. Having described himself as an 'idiot' at the weekend, the 2006 Milan-San Remo winner expanded on his stance on vaccination in a television interview from his hospital bed with La7.
"I wasn’t worried, I didn’t think I’d catch COVID-19. I’d had contact with a number of people who were positive in the last 18 months but I’d never caught it. I underestimated it all, making a big mistake, and this is the result," he said.
"I’f I’d had the vaccine, I probably wouldn’t have ended up in hospital. My mum is vaccinated and got it from me but she only had a slight temperature for a couple of days and then recovered.
“I’ve realised we’re all at risk, even if we are fit, healthy and quite young. I can only advise everyone to get vaccinated. It’s fundamental to avoid the worst of it all. I think we should all get vaccines out of respect for those who have lost their lives and those who have worked to cure people who have been hit by COVID-19."
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