Karl-Heinz Rummenigge expects "very responsible" Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich to show he is a role model by taking the coronavirus vaccine.
Germany midfielder Kimmich stated that he wants to wait for further research to be conducted before he is jabbed.
The 26-year-old and his Bayern team-mate Leon Goretzka started a 'We Kick Corona' initiative last year to help those affected by COVID-19.
Former Bayern president Rummenigge says Kimmich should not be criticised for wanting to know if there may be any long-term effects of being vaccinated but believes he should take the jab and will in the near future.
The Germany great told Bild Live: "First of all, I would like to say to Kimmich that he may be the Bundesliga player who has a role model function in many ways.
"I know him as a great person, as his 'We kick Corona' initiative shows. Of course, it came as a surprise that he wasn't vaccinated. That has now led to a discussion.
"In February of this year, I suggested that it would be wise to vaccinate footballers early – as an example for everyone else.
"I've been horribly criticised. Now it has turned a little. What Joshua does is very responsible. He would like to wait for things like the long-term effects for himself and he is tested every other day. As a role model, it would still be better if he were vaccinated.
"I am convinced that he may be vaccinated soon. He is a totally responsible person and player. We can be very happy that he is part of these two teams in our country."
Rummenigge does not believe players should be left with no choice.
He added: "The compulsory vaccination does not lie with football, but with politics. Due to the fact that one or the other is not vaccinated in Bavaria, we now have a discussion. But that shouldn't be introduced through football."
Head coach Julian Nagelsmann, who is fully vaccinated, was absent for the Bundesliga champions' 4-0 hammerings of Benfica and Hoffenheim this week after testing positive for COVID-19.