Music | May 17, 2021 9:07 am

Of Course Eric Clapton Thinks Vaccine Information Is “Propaganda”

The musician claims he had "disastrous" side effects after his AstraZeneca dose

Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton performs at the Music For Marsden 2020 at The O2 Arena on March 3, 2020 in London, England.
Redferns

 This should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following Eric Clapton’s public statements about the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns meant to curb the spread of the virus, but it turns out the anti-mask musician is also a vaccine skeptic. In a letter to Italian architect/anti-lockdown activist Robin Monotti Graziadei (who shared the letter on his Telegram with Clapton’s permission), the guitarist described the “disastrous” side effects he suffered after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine and called the public health information about the jab “propaganda.”

“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. “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…”

Of course, it’s worth reiterating that the vaccine is safe and research suggests that people who have previously had COVID-19 are more likely to have a strong reaction or worse side effects to their first dose than people who haven’t had it. And as the New York Times points out, “A strong reaction to your first dose of vaccine also might be a sign that you were previously infected, even if you weren’t aware of it.” Given his very public aversion to mask-wearing, it doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch to think that Clapton may have previously caught COVID-19 at some point, which would explain his strong side effects.

Clapton also cited “heroes” like U.K. anti-lockdown politician Desmond Swayne in the letter and wrote about his experience recording his controversial anti-lockdown anthem “Stand and Deliver” with Van Morrison.

“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,” he wrote. “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.”

The good news here is that it doesn’t appear too many people are taking Morrison and Clapton’s anti-lockdown views too seriously. Since being released last December, “Stand and Deliver” has reportedly only sold 5,500 total copies.