Callum Robinson says he is not vaccinated despite having had Covid-19 twice

Callum Robinson
Robinson made a good start to the season with West Brom

Republic of Ireland international Callum Robinson has revealed he has chosen not to be vaccinated against Covid-19, despite twice contracting the virus.

The West Bromwich Albion striker, 26, had already missed games for his country as a close contact before testing positive in November 2020, and then again in August.

"I haven't been vaccinated, no. That's my choice at this moment in time," Robinson replied when questioned on the subject.

"It's obviously annoying that I've caught it twice but I haven't been vaccinated. Further down the line I could change my mind and want to do it."

Robinson was speaking days after Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp expressed exasperation with Premier League players who have not had the vaccine.

Meanwhile, Republic manager Stephen Kenny said Robinson is not the only player in his international squad not to be double-jabbed against Covid-19.

On Wednesday, the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) issued a statement saying they have "encouraged all our players at all levels to be vaccinated" before adding that they must "respect and accept the right of all individuals to make a personal choice on Covid-19 vaccination."

As of last week, there were only seven clubs in the Premier League where more than 50% of players were fully vaccinated.

In the English Football League, the BBC understands that as of September 49% of players were fully vaccinated - up from 18% the previous month.

Klopp said on Sunday that "99%" of his players have been vaccinated and that he had not had to convince them to do so, adding that he was jabbed to protect not just himself but "all the people around me".

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'It's your personal choice'

Testing positive in August meant Robinson had to miss the Republic's September World Cup qualifier in Portugal, though he was able to return for the home matches against Azerbaijan and Serbia.

Robinson is in the squad again for Saturday's qualifier with Azerbaijan in Baku and continues to be tested for Covid-19 regularly with team-mates. When asked why he was not vaccinated, the West Brom forward did not provide a reason.

"I just haven't, I just haven't done it," he continued.

"I think it's your personal choice and my choice at this moment in time, I haven't been vaccinated.

"I know, as you said, there are managers and people that will want you to do it, which is right in their way, the way they think, but everyone has their choice on what they want to do. I wouldn't force people to do it, it's your choice and your body."

Better to be double-vaccinated - Kenny

Stephen Kenny
Kenny is still searching for his first competitive win as Republic boss

Republic boss Kenny, who has had both injections, said it could be a step too far to select only those who were double-jabbed, despite Under-21s boss Jim Crawford having to leave seven UK and Germany-based players out of his squad for a trip to Montenegro, which is on the red list of both countries.

"Well, I think it would be quite a radical viewpoint to just say 'right, whoever is not vaccinated is not being selected in the future'," he said.

"I'm not aware of anybody who has done this in any sport at the moment, so for me to just come and decide that would be extremely radical.

"I was very happy to be (vaccinated) myself and encouraged staff and players. Of course it seems like the most sensible thing to do, and the safest with regard to our environment.

"There are a lot of myths and a lot of issues around virility that people are concerned about and other issues, you know, and I do think it is complex. I am not a medical expert, but I do trust the experts and I do think it is better to be double-vaccinated."

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