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Andrea Meza got the first dose of her COVID-19 vaccine as her first official act as Miss Universe.
The pageant queen received her shot at a CVS in Manhattan on Wednesday.
Meza told Insider she hopes to inspire others to get the shot, especially in her native Mexico.
For her very first act as the new Miss Universe, Andrea Meza got the COVID-19 vaccine.
Meza received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at a CVS in Manhattan on Wednesday morning, wearing a mask and her official Miss Universe sash.
The 26-year-old software engineer - who represented Mexico during the pageant - was crowned on May 16.
"I wanted to get a vaccine publicly because I want to motivate others to get the vaccine as soon as possible in order to keep our communities safe and healthy," Meza told Insider. "I hope that others will look at my voice to get the vaccine and decide to get the vaccine as well."
Meza said her shot was "super quick, easy, and painless." She hopes that by getting the vaccine publicly, she will also inspire people in Mexico to get their shots as well.
"I was very upset to hear stories of whole towns in Mexico turning down the vaccine, as well as learning that the vaccination rate for Hispanic Americans was among the lowest in the country," she added. "I hope people from my country see my decision to get the vaccine when it was my turn and it inspires them too."
Paula Shugart, the president of the Miss Universe Organization, told Insider that she was "so proud" that Meza chose to get vaccinated as her first act as Miss Universe.
"To use her platform to help encourage others to follow public health guidance and get the vaccine when it is their turn sends a powerful message about the safety and efficacy of the science behind the shot," Shugart said.
Meza has already had a busy first week as Miss Universe after rumors swirled over an old Instagram photo.
Pageant fans dug up a picture of Meza and a man on top of a cliff. He sported a tux, while she wore a gorgeous wedding gown with a flowing veil. The caption read, "3-09-19," followed by a wedding ring emoji.
Some fans thought they had unearthed a scandal, since it's against the rules for Miss Universe contestants to be married. But Meza told Insider that the rumors couldn't be further from the truth.
Meza took the picture as part of a shoot with the official tourism office of her hometown Chihuahua, where she had worked as a brand ambassador.
"It's funny because the guy that is with me, he's the youngest brother of one of my best friends," Meza said. "He's 21. He's just a kid. Back then, I was not in any pageant. I just posted the picture making fun of the situation. We thought it was funny to prank our friends by only writing the date on the caption."
Meza has remained unfazed by the gossip, telling Insider she hopes to use her platform to prove to young girls that anyone can be a pageant queen.
"I think our duty as beauty queens is, yeah, of course you can look pretty and wonderful, but our duty is to let the other girls watching us know that we are not perfect," she said. "That we are just like them, and they could perfectly be in the spot we are right now. But you have to believe in yourself. You're not going to make a change in your life if you don't truly believe in yourself."
Meza said she has "felt liberated" by the world of beauty pageants. Now, as Miss Universe, she hopes to be a role model.
"For me, it's a realization of my dreams," she added. "I have admired women in this position for a long time, and being here and having this opportunity means a lot to me because now I have the platform to inspire girls just like me 10 years ago."
Read the original article on Insider