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fight for life Vaccine sceptic former TUV councillor says brush with death changed his opinion

Andrew Girvin said he had a distrust of the media and government before he took seriously ill with Covid


Andrew Girvin during his spell in hospital

Andrew Girvin during his spell in hospital

Andrew Girvin during his spell in hospital

A former TUV councillor who decided not to take the Covid vaccine has spoken of his horror after almost dying when he contracted the disease.

Andrew Girvin said fake news on social media contributed to his scepticism surrounding the vaccine, but he has since changed his mind after his experience.

Speaking on the BBC’s Stephen Nolan Show this morning, the dad-of-four said he now believes everyone should get the vaccine.

Speaking to Nolan, he explained: “I’m feeling a bit better now, just glad to come out the other side. I’m still a bit breathless and weak.”

Mr Girvin (48) says he got the virus back at the start of August, and revealed 19 members of his family had also contracted the disease, including his six-year-old daughter.

“It sort of felt like a cold, then it felt like a heavy flu. The worst flu I ever had was in the early 2000s, that’s the only time I could connect it to… It seemed to be getting worse than that, then it really deteriorated. My wife was saying, ‘your lips are blue’, and I was finding it difficult to breathe.”

His wife then had to phone a first responder as his condition deteriorated, and he was taken to hospital where he was put on CPAP equipment which forces air into the lungs.

“It got to the point where I was really frightened… My oxygen level got to below 70%.”

Nolan asked: “You thought you were going to die?”

Mr Girvin responded: “Without doubt, I did. It was the lack of breathing, it was the lack of oxygen coming in.

“The consultant was giving me a 50/50 chance of survival… I was really pushing the boat out for the prayers.”

Speaking of why he decided not to take the jab, Mr Girvin said: “I didn't take the vaccine simply because, from last year, I was quite protective about the whole Covid thing, because whenever it started I was shouting at the politicians [saying] we need to lock down, we need to do testing, but as time went on the layers of scepticism started to set in…

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“It was more to do with the figures coming out.. [Then] of course, on top of that, you maybe got other people who started cashing in… Maybe taking advantage and downplaying Covid.

“I do believe it did exist and I wasn’t anti-vaccine, but I questioned it all, so it was more I just wasn’t getting the answers that I was wanting.”

He said pharmaceuticals who were saying you can’t sue if something goes wrong with the vaccine left him wondering who would feed his family if something was to happen to him as a result of taking the vaccine.

Nolan asked Mr Girvin if, when lying in hospital, did he then feel silly for not taking the vaccine.

Mr Girvin added: “Without doubt… It was all those layers of, you know, if I do take it am I going to end up sicker? Is there a different plan behind this?

“It’s on Twitter, it’s on Facebook, you don’t even have to like these things for them to pop up on your screen… It wouldn’t take two seconds to read it and it’s already starting to seep into your brain.”

He also said he questioned the trustworthiness of the media when it came to reporting the pandemic.

“I did have my questions around it, and a distrust of the media.”

Nolan asked: “Distrust of media? So you’re reading what some wingnuts might have said on Facebook, and you have a distrust of media?”

Mr Girvin responded: “I didn’t believe the media, I didn’t believe some of the stuff the government was putting out, and I didn’t believe what they (people on social media) were putting out also… [I was] questioning both sides.

Nolan asked if Mr Girvin was questioning Covid now, to which the former politician replied, “no”.

“Whenever I was lying and thinking I was going to die, I was thinking, ‘why did I not just take it’.”

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