Eric Clapton describes “severe reactions” to AstraZeneca vaccine: “I feared I would never play again”

“My hands and feet were either frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks.”

Eric Clapton onstage

Photo: Gareth Cattermole / Getty

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Eric Clapton has described his experiences with the AstraZeneca vaccine, saying it had him worried if he would ever play guitar again.

Clapton spoke of his experiences in a letter [via the Telegram messaging app] to Italian architect Robin Monotti, who shared it on Twitter on 12 May.

In Clapton’s statement, he described “severe reactions” to the vaccine and blamed “propaganda” for overstating its safety.

“I took the first jab of AZ [AstraZeneca] and straight away had severe reactions which lasted ten days,” Clapton wrote. “I recovered eventually and was told it would be 12 weeks before the second one…”

He continued: “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…”

According to the NHS website, short term side effects are considered a normal occurrence with those who’ve received COVID-19 vaccinations. “It shows the vaccine is teaching your body’s immune system how to protect itself from the disease,” an explanation from the NHS website wrote.

Some common side effects include headache, muscle aches, joint pains, chills, nausea, fever and general fatigue. The NHS further stated: “These common side effects are much less serious than developing coronavirus or complications associated with coronavirus and they usually go away within a few days.”

Back in November 2020, Clapton made public his view on COVID-19 lockdowns when he appeared on Van Morrison’s anti-lockdown song single, Stand And Deliver. “Even though I was singing [Van Morrison’s] words, they echoed in my heart,” Clapton said of the song. “I recorded Stand And Deliver in 2020, and was immediately regaled with contempt and scorn.”

Clapton also shared that a second collaboration with Morrison is on the way, titled The Rebels.

Elsewhere in his letter to Monotti, the 76-year-old guitarist also spoke of discovering “heroes” in conservative UK politician Desmond Swayne and former UK Supreme Court justice Lord Sumption, both open critics of the country’s lockdown protocols.

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