Eric Clapton has shared his experience of being vaccinated, calling his reactions to it “disastrous” and criticising the so-called “propaganda” promoting the vaccine’s safety.
In a letter written to Italian architect (and anti-lockdown activist) Robin Monotti Graziadei, shared on Telegram and verified by Rolling Stone, Clapton detailed the side effects he claims to have experienced after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
“I took the first jab of AZ and straight away had severe reactions which lasted ten days. I recovered eventually and was told it would be twelve weeks before the second one…,” Clapton wrote in the letter.
“About six weeks later I was offered and took the second AZ shot, but with a little more knowledge of the dangers. Needless to say the reactions were disastrous, my hands and feet were either frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks, I feared I would never play again, (I suffer with peripheral neuropathy and should never have gone near the needle.) But the propaganda said the vaccine was safe for everyone…”
It has been well-documented that possible side-effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine can potentially include fatigue, chills, fever, nausea, headaches or “generally feeling unwell”. It can also cause “excessive sweating, itchy skin or rash”, though this is less common. Many people have taken to social media to point out how their experiences with the vaccine were much more mild or symptom-free in comparison to Clapton’s.
A great many figures from the music and entertainment world have received COVID-19 vaccines or encouraged the public to get theirs – including Judas Priest’s Rob Halford, Demi Lovato, Morgan Freeman, Dolly Parton, Queen’s Roger Taylor, Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper, Elton John, Samuel L Jackson, and Willie Nelson.
Britney Spears also received hers before telling fans that she “felt nothing” and it was “not as bad as “people on the internet” are claiming it to be.
The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was approved by the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK back in December. “We are delighted to announce the good news that the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 is now approved for supply following a robust and thorough assessment of all the available data,” said MHRA Chief Executive Dr June Raine. “A huge collaborative effort and commitment goes into these assessments which include reviewing vast amounts of data. Our staff have worked tirelessly to ensure we continue to make safe vaccines available to people across the UK.
“No stone is left unturned when it comes to our assessments. This approval means more people can be protected against this virus and will help save lives. This is another significant milestone in the fight against this virus. We will continue to support and work across the healthcare system to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out safely across the UK. Protecting health and improving lives is our mission and what we strive for.”
Chief Executive of the British Society of Immunology Dr Doug Brown later told Reuters: “When developing a new vaccine, the two most important factors are safety and effectiveness. All vaccines have to go through rigorous clinical trials before they are approved for use and they are then monitored during subsequent rollout by the appropriate safety authorities, which in the UK is the MHRA. The approved COVID-19 vaccines in the UK have all been through this thorough process.”
He added: “We must remember that COVID-19 is a disease that can have serious consequences in its own right, including the development of coagulation problems. In the case of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, the European Medicines Agency have concluded the vaccine is safe and effective and recommend the continuation of the vaccine rollout, a viewpoint backed up by the UK regulator, the MHRA.”
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Last year, Clapton teamed up with fellow lockdown sceptic Van Morrison for the track ‘Stand and Deliver’, which was just one of many songs Morrison recorded about the UK government’s approach to curbing the spread of COVID-19.
“I continue to tread the path of passive rebellion and try to tow [sic] the line in order to be able to actively love my family, but it’s hard to bite my tongue with what I now know,” Clapton wrote in his letter.
“Then I was directed to Van [Morrison]; that’s when I found my voice, and even though I was singing his words, they echoed in my heart… I recorded ‘Stand and Deliver’ in 2020, and was immediately regaled with contempt and scorn.”
Van Morrison later opened up on the backlash he received for his series of anti-lockdown songs released last year, blaming it on a lack of freedom of speech.