Enrichment Arts & Culture

Eric Clapton feared he’d never play guitar again after extreme reaction to COVID-19 vaccine

getty: Eric Clapton

Story at a glance

  • Rolling Stone reports Clapton, 76, detailed his vaccine experience in a letter to his friend, architect and anti-lockdown activist Robin Monotti Graziadei.
  • “I took the first jab of AZ and straight away had severe reactions which lasted ten days,” Clapton wrote.
  • “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,” he said.

Rock legend Eric Clapton says he had a “disastrous” reaction to the AstraZeneca vaccine and feared he may never play the guitar again. 

Rolling Stone reports Clapton, 76, detailed his experience in a letter to his friend, architect and anti-lockdown activist Robin Monotti Graziadei after receiving the vaccine in February. Graziadei shared Clapton’s letter on the Telegram app. 


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

He said he received the second dose six weeks later “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.),” Clapton said. 

The songwriter blamed the “propaganda” surrounding the vaccine for what he believes was misinformation regarding its safety. 

Clapton has been vocal in his opposition to coronavirus lockdowns in England over the course of the pandemic and even released an anti-lockdown song called “Stand and Deliver” alongside Van Morrison. 

The guitarist in the letter noted he was “immediately regaled with contempt and scorn” for the song. 

“I’ve been a rebel all my life, against tyranny and arrogant authority, which is what we have now,” Clapton wrote. “But I also crave fellowship, compassion and love…I believe with these things we can prevail.” 


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