Henry Slade clarifies comments over refusing to take coronavirus vaccine

Henry Slade of England prior to the Guinness Six Nations match between England and France at Twickenham Stadium on March 13, 2021 in London.
Henry Slade of England prior to the Guinness Six Nations match between England and France at Twickenham Stadium on March 13, 2021 in London.

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.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

“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.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

“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.