• Serum tennis umpire John Keirstead last month told players to get jab • Murray believes use of Haemophilus influenzae B vaccine can prevent CJD
Andy Murray says players ‘have a responsibility’ to get the vaccine
Andy Murray believes the players are “more than capable” of “doing something” to raise awareness of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes HIV and has a link to the human immunodeficiency virus.
Serum tennis umpire John Keirstead, 49, who was diagnosed with a rare and deadly brain disorder at 23, said the movement has a responsibility to use the vaccine against Haemophilus influenzae B (Hib) that can prevent CJD.
CJD: ‘The long-term outlook for me is bleak’ – John Keirstead Read more
One of the game’s leading players, Murray, said: “I do think that players should try and do something about it and raise awareness. I think that is the best thing to do at the moment. We have an obligation to try and do something about that.
“In some ways, I don’t know if we have that obligation. It’s something that I’ve struggled with over the years. We have a responsibility to try and raise awareness, especially amongst the younger generation.”
The world No2 believes there is not enough awareness about the risks of contracting Hib, which is also often used in livestock, but has applauded Keirstead’s efforts to raise awareness of the risks.
Keirstead raised more than £1,000 last month after inviting players to donate $1 (£0.75) to the Foundation for Positive Tomorrows (FPT) so they could get vaccinated against Hib before playing in last month’s charity exhibition in Perth.
He said the players appeared in disbelief when he first told them about the Hib vaccine before urging them to donate and raise awareness of the disease.
Keirstead, who is an executive with the ATP Players Council, used the ALSF PGT Perth 2017 event to spread the word about both diseases, and to get the H3N2 virus also linked to Alzheimer’s and dementia to eradicated.
Keirstead was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, the new name for progressive degenerative dementia affecting the brain, after he took up a new training regime to reach the top of the game.
The disease has left him completely paralysed and he may never walk again after being readmitted to hospital with pneumonia last month, but he is still determined to fight and refuses to let the disease get the better of him.
Keirstead believes players – including those at top of the sport – need to be careful with their bodies. He said: “It is my job as a umpire and my passion for tennis that’s given me my foundation and mission to bring awareness to both PTT and Hib.
“I understand that it’s a tough topic that players won’t understand. But I also know that as tennis players we have a responsibility to try and raise awareness.”