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Shay Given Says It Is 'No One's Business' If Callum Robinson Is Vaccinated

Shay Given Says It Is 'No One's Business' If Callum Robinson Is Vaccinated
By Gary Connaughton

The issue of vaccination status in professional sport is becoming an increasingly prevalent one, with the Republic of Ireland team becoming involved after Callum Robinson's comments earlier this week.

Speaking ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan this weekend, the West Brom forward revealed that it was 'his choice' not to have taken the coronavirus vaccine. This is despite already having the virus twice, while also missing out on other Ireland caps after being deemed a close contact of a positive case.

Robinson's status as an unvaccinated footballer is not an uncommon one, with some estimates suggesting that less than 50% of Premier League footballers have been fully vaccinated against covid-19.

However, Robinson is amongst the first high level player to comment on this matter in public. His comments have been met with a largely negative reaction, something Shay Given believes is unfair.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, the former Ireland goalkeeper said that everyone should have a choice as to whether they receive the vaccine or not and that such information should not have to be discussed in a public forum.

People should be open to free choice.

It nearly feels like a bullying campaign if somebody says they've not had it, or had it – it's like the elephant in the room.

I think everyone's health is their own decision and shouldn't be governed by the Taoiseach, or in England the Prime Minister. You should make your own choice and Callum spoke openly and made his own choice.

I don't think he should be getting any stick for that. It's his body, it's his life. He feels like he's in a better position if he doesn't get it and he's less at risk, that's his choice.

I say well done for speaking out. There's a campaign if anyone says anything against the common thing then you get hammered. I don't want to go into too much depth on it but I just think everyone in this life has got a choice.

I'm not saying you should get it or shouldn't get it – my opinion is that you should have a free choice...

It's no one's business if he's taken the vaccination, or medicine for something else.

It's his body. There's a line that you have to be careful that you don't cross. People's medical history is their own. That's why there's a privacy law when you're talking to doctors and nurses.

That should be private information.

Given will be familiar with the dressing room conversations surrounding the vaccine, with the 45-year old currently acting as a coach at Championship club Derby County.

While there is no requirement to be vaccinated to take part in international football, those who are unvaccinated will be subjected to more severe rules than their double-jabbed teammates. They will be tested for covid more regularly, while they will also be forced to self-isolate should they be deemed a close contact of a positive case, something that does not apply to vaccinated individuals.

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