David Rudder endorses vaccination in song

“If there was a [polio] vaccine, I would have been okay today.”

David Rudder

David Rudder is working on a new song about the coronavirus pandemic. He made the choice to be fully vaccinated.

The legendary calypsonian who as a child was affected by polio, said had there been a vaccine for polio he would have been okay today. That is why he endorses vaccinations.

Rudder made the comment in an interview with Trinidad newspaper Newsday after being featured on Digicel’s D’Music Safe and Sound concert series held on Independence night.

During the almost hour-long concert, Rudder said, “It is my pleasure to be able to do a concert for you, bring you the music, which is all I have.

“I know we have been going through some rough times. Still rough, still tough. But we are resilient people. And I think the song says the spirits will dance and we will rise at the end of the day.

“I want you to live your life in survival mode, protect your children, protect your family.”

“That is the reason I brought up the point about my having polio and if there was a vaccine, I would have been okay today.”

Rudder got polio at the age of one, which left one leg damaged, he said. The World Health Organization (WHO) said, “Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease that largely affects children under five years of age.

“The virus is transmitted by person-to-person spread mainly through the faecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle (eg contaminated water or food) and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and cause paralysis.”

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website says thanks to a successful vaccination programme, the US has been polio-free since 1979.

Rudder said most people received about five or six vaccines when they were babies and in early life. “A lot of people who are anti-vax have been vaccinated (earlier in life). I always look at it in a kind of humorous way. I kind of smile, because it is difficult to comprehend sometimes, you know.”

Asked if people should be vaccinated against the covid19 virus, he said yes, but it was still a choice that people had to make. He added that it was the choice he made and he is fully vaccinated today.

Vaccine hesitancy might be caused by listening to others as well as a general fear of needles, Rudder said when asked about why he felt some people were so hesitant.

“People are scared, you know,” he said. Rudder said Digicel contacted him to do the concert.

“I said, that will be fine. I said that will be a great thing in these times for the nation.

“All I have is music. Music is the only thing that keeps people kind of going…

“That was my feeling. I had to do this to help people through this.”

Wishing TT health and strength, he said, “The quicker we deal with this pandemic, the quicker we will get back to a certain level of normalcy.

“We won’t ever be normal again, because I don’t think this is going away. It is just like most viruses over the years and the centuries. We learn to live with them. The quicker we get closer to that kind of herd immunity, is the better.”

Rudder said calypso was about the “tongue being a blade, a weapon,” but when one got to understand it, it was a beautiful thing.”