Trinidad and Tobago sailor and Olympian Andrew Lewis has said that after becoming “more informed,” he decided to take the covid19 vaccine ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
In May, Lewis had told Newsday he was “not running down” the vaccine as he lives a healthy lifestyle.
He said, "With regard to the vaccine, I am not running it down and I’m not really interested in it right now. I believe...the way I eat, live and train, I’ll remain very healthy.
“Until my confidence becomes stronger around it, I’m very happy to stay just the way I am. When quarantine is required (via international travel), I will accept the sacrifice, if need be."
At that time, he said he still had some unanswered questions about the vaccine.
“The way I see it – the evidence is just not strong enough for me. I’m going to stay non-vaccinated until I have some sort of confidence around this injection that most of the world is getting involved in.
"Now I’m not saying I’m invincible and cannot contract covid19. What I’m saying is my choice is to be healthy is to continue living, eating and breathing from the earth and living much more of a natural way of life. I look forward to living that life as long as I am here.”
Lewis was criticised on social media and labelled as an anti-vaxxer after this story was published.
On Monday, Atlantic LNG posted to social media saying Lewis – one of its ambassadors – “understands the importance of talking to doctors and making an informed decision on vaccination.”
It quoted him as saying, “I want to encourage everyone to work towards getting back to normal so we can come out of this pandemic.”
Again, many began criticising him on social media and referred to Newsday’s article, questioning why someone who was uninterested in getting vaccinated was a part of the #VacToNormal campaign.
But speaking with Newsday on Wednesday evening, Lewis said he has since been fully vaccinated. He got the Pfizer vaccine.
“What I shared with (Newsday) in May was that I wasn't ready yet as well as accessing was not possible at that point. Like many persons, the decision to get vaccinated has been a personal one that involved me becoming more informed.
“Since that point, I made the decision to get fully vaccinated before heading to Tokyo. I am aware of Atlantic’s campaign and agreed to be a part of it as well.”
The Olympic Games begin on Friday and end on August 8. TT Olympic Committee President Brian Lewis said 98 per cent of TT's delegation have been vaccinated against covid19.