“I have no negative feelings towards my band,” says Parada, who is “heartbroken” to miss out on upcoming gigs.
The Offspring recently reworked their hit “Come Out and Play” to include the lyrics “Gotta go get vaccinated,” but drummer Pete Parada — under the guidance of his doctor, he says — isn’t following that advice.
Parada, who has been the band’s drummer from 2007 until now, revealed on Monday that he would not be joining the group at their upcoming shows because he hasn’t gotten the Covid-19 vaccine.
“I’ve got some unfortunate and difficult news to share. 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,” he began a lengthy thread.
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“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,” he claimed. “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-Barré 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.”
According to an FDA update from July 2021, “there have been 100 preliminary reports of [Guillain-Barré Syndrome, or GBS] following vaccination with the [Johnson & Johnson] vaccine after approximately 12.5 million doses administered. Of these reports, 95 of them were serious and required hospitalization. There was one reported death.” While the FDA noted that the “evidence suggests an association between the Janssen vaccine and increased risk of GBS,” they added it was “insufficient to establish a causal relationship.” So far, there’s no link between the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and GBS.
“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,” Parada continued. “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.”
On Tuesday, NYC just became the first city to require vaccinations at indoor events, including concerts. At this time, some venues require proof of vaccination or a recent negative test, while others are asking those who aren’t vaccinated to wear masks.
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“I have no negative feelings towards my band. They’re doing what they believe is best for them, while I am doing the same,” Parada continued. “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.”
He went on to say he doesn’t 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” — adding that there are “countless folks” like him for whom getting vaccinated is “a greater risk than the virus.”
“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 continued, asking his followers to have an open mind.
“All voices deserve to be heard,” he concluded. “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.”
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The band has urged its fans to get vaccinated in the past, sharing a reworked version of their hit “Come Out In Play” to include the lyrics “Gotta go get vaccinated” back in March.
“Dexter and Noodles checking in. You know, every time we get together, we talk about how we can’t wait to get out there and play shows again. And we hear from you guys all the time, letting us know that you can’t wait to go see concerts again too!” frontman Dexter Holland and lead guitarist Noodles captioned the video at the time.
“But let’s face it…. live shows aren’t gonna happen until you go get vaccinated. So we thought we’d have a little fun with one of our old songs,” they added.
Dexter, who actually holds a PhD in Molecular Biology and wrote his thesis on MicroRNA, has also been very vocal about vaccines.
“I went to school for this. I feel like I have a little bit of a background in it, and I do think it’s a good idea [to get the COVID-19 vaccine],” he told CBC Radio in May. “Whatever you think about all this, the truth is that we’re not gonna get back to normal until people get vaccinated; that’s just the reality of it. So why don’t we just get this done with so that we can all go to shows again and do the things that we love to do.”
“I do feel like it’s the right thing to do. I felt strongly enough to put this out,” he said of the “Come Out and Play” revamp, saying it was met with “mixed” reaction from fans, some of whom were angry at their stance.