Henry Slade clarifies comments over refusing to take coronavirus vaccine

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England and Exeter centre Henry Slade has clarified comments he made about refusing to take the coronavirus vaccination on the grounds he is healthy.

Slade, a Type-1 diabetic, told the Daily Telegraph on Thursday: “I am not going to have a vaccine. I don’t agree with it all. I don’t think you can trust it, can you? There is no way of knowing what could happen with it in the future”.

The 28-year-old insists his remarks were not to be taken as opposition to the Government’s vaccine roll-out.

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“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,” he said in a statement released by Exeter.

“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.

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“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.”

Slade, a double winner with Exeter last season, has won 38 caps for England since making his debut in 2015 and has been a regular in Eddie Jones’ starting XV since the 2019 World Cup.

However, he has been overlooked for a place on the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa this summer.

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