Tobago East MP confirms: I have covid19

Tobago East MP Ayanna Webster-Roy.  - Photo by Jeff K Mayers
Tobago East MP Ayanna Webster-Roy. - Photo by Jeff K Mayers

Despite being fully vaccinated since June, Tobago East MP Ayanna Webster-Roy has confirmed she has covid19.

Webster-Roy, who had sought leave from last Wednesday’s sitting of the House of Representatives, did so in a post on her Facebook page on Saturday.

“I have been careful, I have been prayerful, I have followed the guidelines of the health professional, and I am covid-19 positive,” she wrote.

Webster-Roy, who is also a Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, revealed she tested positive for the virus on September 14. She said except for my second child, every other member of her household tested positive.

The MP said when she received the results, she became fearful for her nine-year-old son, who is the only non-vaccinated member of her family.

To combat her fear, Webster-Roy said she turned to God for comfort, specifically the books of Jeremiah and Isaiah.

She said Saturday marked the fourth day of the family’s 20-day period of mandatory quarantine.

“On day four, we are nearly back to normal health. Apart from a mild fever during the initial phase, my son is symptom-free. My daughter and I both have some mild congestion still, but that is it!”

Webster-Roy said she is grateful to God and all of the health care professionals who have interacted with her family since they were tested.

“I thank God that he used my father and husband to bring my stubborn soul under submission, and I give thanks to God for guiding the minds and hands of all the scientists involved in developing the various covid-19 vaccines.”

Webster-Roy admitted she had serious misgivings about taking the vaccine.

“Yes, until April 2021, the same Ayanna who has been preaching the gospel of vaccination was sceptical of the vaccines developed for covid-19.”

She said while she is not anti-vaccine, “I simply expressed concern about the emergence of certain covid-19 vaccines.

“When the international media started pushing the vaccines developed for the covid-19 virus by big-name pharmaceutical companies, I became very sceptical. I wanted to understand how they could create a vaccine for coronavirus in such a short space of time, while vaccines for HIV and Herpes are still outstanding after years of research. Also, I had decided that if I would risk taking any vaccine, it would be a vaccine developed in the place where the virus first presented.”

Webster-Roy said she got into heated arguments with her father, whom she said, had ordered her to get vaccinated.

“At the time, AstraZeneca was the only vaccine available in our country. I did not want anyone to pressure me into taking a vaccine that I did not believe was compatible with my body; I read about a few cases of blood clots and was concerned. I recall telling my father that I believed in God and that my faith would sustain me.”

Webster-Roy said when the Sinopharm vaccine became available in Tobago's health facilities, she and her husband sought vaccination.

“That decision was made on the basis of personal preference, advice, and 'layman research.'

She said her second dose of the vaccine was administered on June 24. Her daughters got their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on September 9.

Webster-Roy urged people to get vaccinated.

“While it is frequently stated that the best vaccine to take is the one that is available to you, if you find yourself in a situation where you have a choice, seek guidance, and choose the vaccine that you believe will work best for you. What is critical is that you get vaccinated.”

Webster-Roy said she shared her story to help fellow Tobagonians who are still undecided make the wise choice.

“While a vaccine cannot save you or prevent you from contracting the virus, I have learned through experience that it does give you a fighting chance. And when vaccine is combined with faith and adhering to public health guidelines, the risk of infection is significantly reduced.”

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"Tobago East MP confirms: I have covid19"

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