Pete Parada, the drummer of US rock band "The Offspring," has revealed that he has been barred from joining his bandmates on an upcoming tour for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccination.
In a detailed post on his Instagram account, Parada explained that he took the decision not to take the vaccine as his doctor warned him that getting the jab would be more dangerous for him than coronavirus itself. The musician suffers from Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare but serious autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack healthy nerve cells in the body's peripheral nervous system. According to Parada, the illness dates back to his childhood and has only "evolved to be progressively worse" over his lifetime.
"Unfortunately for me, (and my family - who is hoping to keep me around a bit longer) the risks far outweigh the benefits," he said about the vaccine.
The drummer said that he has already battled a mild case of COVID-19 once, over a year ago, and is "confident" that he would be able to "handle it" even if he is infected again. However, he has been deemed "unsafe to be around, in the studio, and on tour" for failing to get the vaccine.
"I mention this because you won't be seeing me at these upcoming shows. I also want to share my story so that anyone else experiencing the agony and isolation of getting left behind right now- knows they're not entirely alone," the 48-year-old said.
Parada added that though he has "no negative feelings" towards his band and wishes them the best, he is "heartbroken" not to be seeing his road community and connecting with the fans.
He also expressed "unequivocal" support towards "informed consent" in taking the vaccination, but noted that the decision should be "unburdened by coercion." He added, "I do not find it ethical or wise to allow those with the most power (government, corporations, organisations, employers) to dictate medical procedures to those with the least power."
After leaving the band for which he worked for 14 years, the drummer is in the midst of launching a project and is also planning to release some music with his daughter.