Eric Clapton's vaccine song 'This Has Gotta Stop' prompts outrage, leaves fans dismayed

Eric Clapton's new song 'This Has Gotta Stop' takes aim at COVID-19 vaccines and other protective measures, infuriating many and prompting some fans to boycott his music. 

Following up his anti-lockdown tune 'Stand and Deliver', which he released with Van Morrison late last year, Clapton's latest lyrics include: "This has gotta stop, enough is enough/ I can't take this BS any longer/ It's gone far enough, you wanna claim my soul/ You'll have to come and break down this door." 

He also seemingly makes reference to his previous claims about suffering a side-effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine with the lines: "I knew that something was going on wrong/ When you started laying down the law/ I can't move my hands, I break out in sweat/ I wanna cry, I can’t take it anymore." 

Earlier this year, the 'Cocaine' singer said he had a "disastrous" response to his second shot, claiming his hands and feet were "either frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks". Clapton also acknowledged that he had pre-existing "peripheral neuropathy" which meant he "should have never gone near the needle". 

The NHS advice on the AstraZeneca vaccine states that the majority of reactions are mild and short-term, and that reports of serious side effects are very rare.

The release of 'This Has Gotta Stop' quickly drew backlash online, with disappointed fans dubbing the music legend "narcissistic" and vowing to "delete all his songs". 

"Eric Clapton has joined the ranks of former celebrities who are no longer famous for what they became famous for but are now famous for being assholes," one tweet read. 

"I have a feeling Eric Clapton's fans are not going to be feeling very Wonderful Tonight," said another, referencing one of the singer's biggest hits, named by New Zealand's Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield as his favourite love song in an interview last year. 

"I'll never listen to or purchase another Eric Clapton song ever again. Who's with me?: one Twitter user asked, while another joked: "For airing his views on medicine, Eric Clapton should be forced to listen to a doctor playing 'Layla'." 

"Cocaine’s a helluva drug (so are COVID vaccines, but you can’t snort those, so…)" another reference to one of Clapton's songs read. 

"I'm sorry you were one of the rare people to have an adverse reaction to the vaccine. I'm sorry this song is not very good. I'm sorry that this song may encourage people to not vaccinate at all when it could help prevent their deaths if they get sick," one person addressed Clapton. 

"Think about who you could be harming," implored another Twitter user. 

Meanwhile, some Clapton fans thanked the former Cream guitarist for 'This Has Gotta Stop', praising the musician's "precious courage" and declaring: "Bravo and well done Eric Clapton. You've got balls and principles." 

The video for 'This Has Gotta Stop' features animated figures holding placards that read 'liberty' and 'stop', as well as groups of people being puppeteered by an ominous, faceless character. 

Clapton previously declared that he would not perform at UK venues that require audience members to be vaccinated against COVID-19, stating: "I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present."