Robinson says he's not been va...


Robinson says he's not been vaccinated despite catching COVID twice

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Callum Robinson has revealed he has chosen not to be vaccinated against COVID-19, despite catching the virus twice. 

The West Brom striker confirmed his stance ahead of Saturday's World Cup qualifier away to Azerbaijan.

Robinson was diagnosed with coronavirus for the second time in late August, forcing him to miss September's 2-1 defeat away to Portugal.

The 26-year old was brought back into the squad after the game in Faro and made substitute appearances in the subsequent draws with Azerbaijan and Serbia.

Robinson's vaccination status was not known ahead of the Portugal game, and Stephen Kenny stopped short of insisting players should be vaccinated.

"We had a player who was double-vaccinated test positive" Kenny said at the time.

"I spoke to our doctor Alan Byrne who said that there was probably only about a 10-15% chance of that. The player in question was so careful, he's an incredibly careful individual."

"Can you force people to have a vaccine? We make sure that the day before they come into camp, they have a PCR test. Once they come in, they have another one."

"Shane Long passed two tests before he tested positive.

"Will we get to the stage where we force people to have the vaccine - I don't know. I really don't know."

Last month it was revealed that only 30-35 per cent of Premier League footballers had opted to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Those figures have led to an increased push from footballing authorities to win around footballers to the jab.

Robinson has been unavailable for eight out of thirteen internationals over the last twelve months for coronavirus-related reasons. He was first deemed a close contact, before contracting the virus himself last autumn.

He's set to win just his 19th Ireland cap against Azerbaijan in Baku on Saturday.

The following his how Robinson addressed the subject of vaccinations during Tuesday afternoon's press conference.

Robinson on how he was feeling after his second bout of COVID-19:

"The first time wasn't as bad as the second time... smell, taste, you know the normal symptoms.

"The second one, I had a little bit of a bad chest - which was a little bit annoying - so it took probably longer to get back to my full fitness, and to get my energy back because I think it took a little bit more out of me than the first time."

Robinson was then asked about Jurgen Klopp's comments regarding vaccinations, and Stephen Kenny preferring that Ireland players were vaccinated, while not being in a position to force them:

My honest opinion would be... it's your choice. I wouldn't be... to say 'everyone should be vaccinated' or 'you shouldn't get vaccinated'.

"I think it's your personal choice. If you want to be vaccinated, then go do it. But if you don't want to - it is what it is - it's everyone's choice, I can't tell people to get it and I can't tell people not to."

Robinson was asked what his personal choice was regarding vaccination:

"I haven't been vaccinated yet, no, so that's my choice at this moment in time."

Robinson asked if he understood why his stance might be viewed as 'unusual' given his personal history:

"Yeah, of course. As I've said, it's obviously annoying that I've caught it twice but I... I haven't been vaccinated.

"Further down the line I could change my mind and want to do it, but at this moment in time I haven't been vaccinated, no."

Robinson was asked why he hasn't been vaccinated:

"I just haven't. I just haven't done it. I think - as I said to your man here - it's your personal choice, and erm... my choice at this moment in time I haven't been vaccinated.

"I know, as you said, there's managers and people that will want you to do it which is... which is right in their way of what they think, but everyone has their... their choice, and what they want to do.

"I wouldn't force it on people to do it, or not. It's your choice, and your body and...

Robinson was then asked if he felt he'd missed out on Ireland caps because of his vaccine stance:

"Well... the first ones I'm not sure if I could have even had the vaccination last year.

"Yeah, so obviously I missed the... the two... I think I played one errrrm.... I played the Serbia away, no the Slovakia away - sorry - and was the close contact. And then I actually caught it against... just before the England friendly and I've missed three games.

"But I've obviously definitely lost... lost caps through... through the corona...because of the coronavirus which is obviously so annoying erm...that a virus can take away caps from you, but...

The second time Robinson caught COVID-19 he could have been vaccinated, giving him a "huge percentage chance" of not catching it a second time:

"What? On the other month?"

"Yeah, if you were vaccinated you could have been able to play for Ireland"

"Yeah, I know. Yeah, I know but that - as I said - that's my choice. I haven't been vaccinated, and... that's... that's where I'm at at the moment.

"As I've said if things ch... things might change where I think 'yeah, I want to get vaccinated, I'm gonna do it' but at this moment in time, I haven't made that decision at the moment and I'm not now."

After attempts to steer the conversation back to footballing matters, Robinson was asked if he had a wider responsibility to other players and staff... could carry the virus unbeknownst:

"Yeah, well obviously we do all our tests. We have to test before we come here, obviously, and then we do... we've had our tests already since I've been here.

"So we're testing every... every 2-3 days, basically, while we're here so yeah you could say it's a risk but... like, it's a risk for everyone. You can still catch it."

The FAI's Communications Executive Kieran Crowley then turned the press conference back to footballing matters.

Kenny will lose his job if he does not win these games | Damien Delaney

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Callum Robinson Coronavirus Covid-19 Republic Of Ireland Stephen Kenny

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