A stock image of a man receiving a vaccination in his arm.
Nadhim Zahawi caught COVID-19 in January, and required additional medical help after it worsened.
The education secretary said he would have been hospitalised and intubated had he not been vaccinated.
Asked if he could have died, Zahawi said he would have been “in big trouble.”
A Cabinet minister in Boris Johnson’s government has revealed how serious his brush with COVID-19 was, saying he would have been “in big trouble” had he not been vaccinated.
Nadhim Zahawi, the education secretary and future contender for leader, revealed he had tested positive at the end of January.
At the time, the MP said he had received three shots of the COVID-19 vaccine and would be working from home while he isolated.
But speaking to Sky News on Thursday morning, the former vaccines minister said he had suffered from a severe reaction to the virus, including a temperature of 39.5 degrees Celsius, which required additional medical intervention.
“In my case it got worse and got into my chest and I had to increase the amount of medical help I needed,” Zahawi said. “It was not pleasant.”
According to the minister, his doctor had told him: “If you hadn’t had the vaccines and the booster, I guarantee you would have been in the hospital and probably intubated.”
Asked if he could have died, Zahawi said: “Certainly without the vaccines I would have been in big trouble.”
Several ministers have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks, including Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. However, most have returned to work apparently well.
Johnson was hospitalised in the first wave and later revealed that plans had been drawn up in case he died.
In an interview with The Sun afterwards, Johnson said: “It was a tough old moment, I won’t deny it. They had a strategy to deal with a ‘death of Stalin’-type scenario.”
Politics, News UK, Boris Johnson, coronavirus
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