English guitarist and singer Eric Clapton has called his COVID-19 vaccination side effects a “disastrous” health experience. In a letter to Italian architect Robin Monotti, he blamed vaccine acceptance propaganda for leading people to believe that the vaccines were safe for use. Monotti shared the letter on his Telegram account.
Age 76 and suffering from emphysema, Clapton was in the Avant Garde for vaccine eligibility. He received the AstraZeneca vaccine and quickly understood the ramifications in February. Soon after he took the first shot, he experienced “severe reactions which lasted ten days.” While he was told it would be 12 weeks before he could get the second shot, it was offered six weeks after he recovered, and the guitarist took the second AstraZeneca jab.
“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,” he says in the letter.
According to UK’s Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), in the clinical trials of the AstraZeneca vaccine, “very rare reports” of events associated with inflammation of the nervous system were seen. Such events could result in a vaccinated person feeling pins and needles, numbness, and/or loss of feeling. The agency also said that some reports suggested that the use of AstraZeneca vaccines was linked with blood clots occurring with low levels of platelets.
According to a report by Cosmos Magazine, as of April 14, 168 cases of blood clots, including 32 deaths were linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has now been suspended in Denmark, Cameroon, and Norway. In Brazil, Britain, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Spain, South Korea, and Sweden, the vaccine is under restricted use, according to Reuters.
Denmark was the first country to ban the vaccine when health authorities acknowledged some cases of blood clotting in vaccinated individuals. Two deaths are attributed to blood clots resulting from the vaccination in Denmark.
According to the product information report of the AstraZeneca vaccine, a study on the side effects was conducted in four clinical trials that saw the participation of 23,745 people from the UK, South Africa, and Brazil.
“The most frequently reported adverse reactions were injection site tenderness (63.7%), injection site pain (54.2%), headache (52.6%), fatigue (53.1%), myalgia (44.0%), malaise (44.2%), pyrexia (includes feverishness (33.6%) and fever >38°C (7.9%)), chills (31.9%), arthralgia (26.4%) and nausea (21.9%),” the report states.
Live music and lockdowns
In his letter, Clapton praised conservative UK politician Desmond Swayne and former UK Supreme Court Justice Lord Sumption, both vocal critics of the country’s lockdown policies, calling them “heroes.”
In December last year, Clapton had teamed up with rock music legend Van Morrison for the anti-lockdown song Stand and Deliver. In an interview with Variety, Clapton called Morrison an “inspiration” and stated that everyone should stand up and find a way “out of this mess.” He expressed concern that live music might “never recover.”
“It is heart-breaking to see so many talented musicians lack any meaningful support from the government, but we want to reassure them that we are working hard every day to lobby for the return of live music, and to save our industry,” Morrison had said to the media outlet.
UK’s Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden recently announced on Twitter that the country is making good progress with testing the safe return of audiences through the Events Research Program. However, he added that the nation is entering a period of “heightened vigilance.”
The Events Research Program is a UK government initiative that seeks to examine the risk of COVID-19 transmission from attending events and explore ways to ensure that people are able to attend events safely.
“The crucial road map date for theatres, music venues, and sports has always been step 4, so I understand this is an anxious time as we assess the situation over the next couple of weeks,” Dowden said in the tweet.
According to the lockdown easing roadmap set by the British government, stage 4, which involves lifting restrictions on large events, is scheduled to be implemented on June 21, 2021.