Anwar Hadid is making a u-turn from his statement about not taking the COVID-19 vaccine after facing backlash on social media for being an "anti-vaxxer."
Anwar, the younger brother of supermodels Bella and Gigi Hadid, announced his decision to not take the vaccine while responding to questions posed by his Instagram followers. "Will u take the vaccine?" one person had asked, to which he replied, "Absolutely not."
When someone further inquired "why are you anti-vaxx," the model responded, "Either I just don't get it or I get it, and God willing heal from it and get antibodies rather than do that process unnaturally." The 21-year-old added that "our bodies are made by the creator to do way more than we think."
His statement drew sharp criticism from social media users who lambasted him for spreading misinformation. "Imagine being as privileged as Anwar Hadid to say 'I'd rather just catch the virus and get the antibodies than get the vaccine.' IMAGINE THE PRIVILEGE," wrote one Twitter user. Another commented: "Anwar Hadid. Stop. Can we stop celebrities with huge platforms from spreading misinformation about vaccines? It's just so irresponsible."
Following the backlash, Hadid took to his Instagram account on Monday to issue a clarification about the matter, and insisted that he is not an anti-vaxxer.
"Im not 'anti vax.' I think everyone has to be careful with each vaccine individually looking at positive and possible negative effects," he said in an Instagram story.
"I have taken vaccines before but as someone who has had a compromised immune system. I want to continue to learn about the many ways I can protect myself and others," he added. Anwar, his elder sister Bella and mother Yolanda, were diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2012.
According to the CDC, Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can be spread to humans by infected ticks and causes more than 300,000 infections per year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has repeatedly said that individuals with underlying medical conditions face an increased risk of "severe illness" if they contract COVID-19.
Anwar, who has been dating singer Dua Lipa since 2019, also declared that his remarks about the vaccine were not meant to offend anyone and that he was "grateful" for all the medical workers who have served on the frontline during the pandemic.
"My response was not to make a stance. It was honestly just a thought, but I can't expect you all to know where my heart and head is at. And that's where I went wrong. I will be more aware," he wrote.