Former soccer star Pele gets vaccinated in Brazil

Brazilian soccer great Pele, 80, receives a dose of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine in Brazil, in this image posted on his Instagram account on March 2, 2021. Courtesy of @pele/Instagram via REUTERS

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Former Brazilian soccer star Pele was vaccinated against COVID-19 on Tuesday, the same day that a record 1,641 people were reported to have died in the South American nation after contracting the virus.

Pele posted a picture of him receiving the vaccination on Instagram giving a thumbs up sign.

"Today is an unforgettable day - I received the vaccine!" the former Santos and New York Cosmos player said, without saying which vaccine he was given.

"The pandemic is not over yet. We must keep discipline to preserve lives until many people have taken the vaccine. Please continue to wash your hands and stay home if possible.

"When you go out please don’t forget your mask and maintain social distance. This will pass if we can think of others and help each other."

Brazil has seen 257,361 people die from the virus, more than any other country outside the United States, and is currently facing a new spike in cases.

The previous record daily high came in July 2020.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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