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Henry Slade issues statement following criticism over newspaper interview claim

By Liam Heagney

Trending on RugbyPass

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England midfielder Henry Slade has issued a statement following the controversy ignited by his revelation that he won’t be taking a jab to protect himself from Covid-19. In the same week that the Lions squad he was omitted from had their first jab in London ahead of the South African tour, the Exeter player gave an interview to the Telegraph newspaper in the UK.


Asked about the vaccines that are currently being administered to people, Slade told the Telegraph: “I’m not going to have a vaccine. I don’t agree with it all. I don’t think you can trust it, can you? I don’t think it [vaccination against Covid] has been going long. There is no way of knowing what could happen with it in the future. I’m perfectly fit and healthy. I don’t fancy it at all.”

In voicing his opinion, England centre Slade became the first high-profile British sportsperson to speak publicly regarding their vaccination concerns. However, his comments attracted such a considerable level of criticism he has since issued a statement of clarification via his Exeter club.  

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“Following an article in today’s Telegraph newspaper, I would like to make the following statement,” he opened. “The comments attributed to me in regards to the Covid-19 vaccination form a very small part of an exclusive interview I had with the newspaper, which was set up to talk about living with Type-1 diabetes.

“Not only as a professional sportsman but also a person who has to closely monitor my health levels every day, I am acutely aware of the importance of vaccines and the role it plays in helping save lives.

“From my own personal experience, I have encountered issues in the past with the use of vaccines and I am continually wary around this area. That said, I have no hidden agenda against the current, nationwide roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccination programme. When the time comes for me to make an informed decision on whether or not I take up the option of having the vaccination, I will of course consider the thoughts of my family and friends, the latest Government advice, as well as all others around me.


“In no way whatsoever am I offering advice to the general public as to the pros and cons of the vaccination programme. Everyone has a right to their own opinion on this matter, but given my past experiences, I wish to make the correct decision for myself.”

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Henry Slade issues statement following criticism over newspaper interview claim