Pete Parada, the drummer for the punk band the Offspring, said that he will not continue playing with the group because he refuses to receive a Covid-19 vaccination. Parada, who has Guillain-Barré syndrome, is immunocompromised and said his doctor advised against getting the vaccine at this time.
“The risks far outweigh the benefits,” Parada said in an Instagram post, adding that he was mildly sick with the virus in 2020, and was concerned about dealing with those symptoms a second time after receiving a vaccination. “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,” he said in the note.
The Offspring have not responded to SPIN‘s request for comment at the time of publishing.
Parada’s announcement arrives ahead of a sold-out show in Los Angeles this week that the Offspring are slated to play, in addition to U.S. and Europe tour dates throughout the summer. “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 said. “I mention this because you won’t be seeing me at these upcoming shows.”
View this post on Instagram
According to the New York Times, the Food and Drug Administration said that “Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine may be associated with a small increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome.” It did not specify whether that same link was associated with the vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech or by Moderna.
Parada’s departure from the band, whether temporary or permanent, comes amid rising concerns over how to hold public events such as concerts without worsening the spread of the Delta variant. On Tuesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a sweeping vaccine mandate, requiring proof of at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine in order to go to indoor restaurants, gyms, and entertainment events.
Parada said he has “no negative feelings” toward the band. “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.”