Offspring drummer axed from band for refusing COVID-19 vaccine

Offspring drummer Pete Parada has revealed he's been fired from the band after refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine for personal medical reasons. 

The musician shared the news on social media, apologising to his friends and family for the "public nature" of the disclosure, but adding: "I don't know how to have this conversation multiple times." 

"I've got some unfortunate and difficult news to share," he began. 

"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.

"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." 

Information on COVID-19 vaccines being used in New Zealand can be found on the Ministry of Health website

Parada said that for him and his family, he believed "the risks far outweigh the benefits". 

"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," he 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."

The drummer said he had "no negative feelings" towards his bandmates, adding: "They're doing what they believe is best for them, while I am doing the same." 

Parada said he wished his 'Offspring family' the best as they prepare to get back on the road, but said he was "heartbroken" to be missing the opportunity to connect with his fans. 

He insisted he supported "informed consent - which necessitates choice unburdened by coercion" when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine. 

"I hope we can learn to make room for all the perspectives and fears that are happening currently. Let's avoid the unfortunate tendency to dominate, dehumanise and shout down at each other." 

Parada was part of The Offspring for 12 years, having joined in 2007. The original band formed in California in 1984. The 'Pretty Fly' hitmakers are set to play a sold out show in Los Angeles this weekend, and have gigs scheduled throughout the rest of the year.