Pete Parada, drummer for widely popular band The Offspring, has announced that his bandmates have told him to step back from the band since he will not receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
In a social media announcement this week, Parada proclaimed that he suffers from a medical condition that would reportedly put him at risk if he were to receive the coronavirus shot.
What are the details?
In a widely shared Instagram post, Parada — who said he struggles with Guillain-Barré syndrome — said that he was infected with COVID-19 in 2020 and had only a mild case of the disease.
He added that because of his purported medical history, his doctor advised him to hold off on getting the COVID-19 vaccine shot for the time being.
"I've got some unfortunate and difficult news to share," he wrote in a Monday Instagram post. "I know many of my close friends and family would've preferred to hear this privately first — and I apologize for the public nature of my disclosure, but I don't know how to have this conversation multiple times."
Parada continued, "Given my personal medical history and the side-effect profile of these jabs, my doctor has advised me not to get a shot at this time. I caught the virus over a year ago, it was mild for me — so I am confident I'd be able to handle it again, but I'm not so certain I'd survive another post-vaccination round of Guillain-Barre syndrome, which dates back to my childhood and has evolved to be progressively worse over my lifetime. Unfortunately for me, (and my family — who is hoping to keep me around a bit longer) the risks far outweigh the benefits."
Parada noted that his bandmates, as a result, have determined that he is "unsafe to be around."
"Since I am unable to comply with what is increasingly becoming an industry mandate — it has recently been decided that I am unsafe to be around, in the studio, and on tour," he revealed. "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."
What else did he say?
The famed drummer continued the post, insisting that he harbors no hard feelings or ill will toward the rest of the band for their decision.
"I have no negative feelings towards my band. They're doing what they believe is best for them, while I am doing the same," he explained. "Wishing the entire Offspring family all the best as they get back at it! I'm heartbroken not to be seeing my road community, and I will miss connecting with the fans more than I can express in words. While my reason for not getting this jab is medical, I want to make sure I'm not carving out a space that is only big enough for me. I need to state, unequivocally, that I support informed consent — which necessitates choice unburdened by coercion. I do not find it ethical or wise to allow those with the most power (government, corporations, organizations, employers) to dictate medical procedures to those with the least power.
"There are countless folks (like me) for whom these shots carry a greater risk than the virus," Parada continued in the lengthy post. "Most of us don't publicly share a private decision we made in careful consideration with our doctors. We know it's not an easy conversation to unfold. If it looks like half the population is having a shockingly different reaction to these jabs than was expected — it's probably because their life experiences have actually been shockingly different, and their reasons range from a conscientious risk/benefit analysis, to the financial inability to take time off work/lack of health care in the event of potential side-effects, to an understandable distrust in a system that has never prioritized the health or well-being of their communities."
He concluded, "I hope we can learn to make room for all the perspectives and fears that are happening currently. Let's avoid the unfortunate tendency to dominate, dehumanize, and shout down at each other. The hesitant population is not a monolithic group. All voices deserve to be heard. In the meantime, I'm in the midst of launching a project and releasing some music with my daughter so please stay tuned for all of that. I deeply appreciate your understanding and support as my family and I find a new way forward. Sending love to everyone who has been impacted by this pandemic, in all the ways lives have been lost and altered."