Aaron Rodgers finally explained his vaccination status in a wild interview
Aaron Rodgers broke his silence Friday, days after he tested positive for COVID-19. He appeared on The Pat McAfee Show to discuss why he’s opted against receiving one of the vaccines, taking aim at those who’ve criticized him.
After news of his positive test, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo reported that Rodgers remains unvaccinated against the virus, despite the fact that he said he was “immunized” when asked during an August press conference.
Rodgers clarified what he meant during his interview with McAfee, saying he found a “long-term immunization protocol.”
“I didn’t lie in the initial press conference. During that time, it was a witch hunt that was going on across the league,” Rodgers said. “My plan was to say that I’ve been immunized. It wasn’t some sort of ruse or lie; it was the truth.”
Rodgers said that, had a reporter asked a followup question, he would have said he isn’t an “anti-vax flat-earther,” but that he believes strongly in “bodily autonomy.” The Packers quarterback said he is allergic to an ingredient in the mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna.
He is correct in that the CDC recommends anyone who is allergic to one of the ingredients in a vaccine to not receive that vaccine:
“If you have had a severe allergic reaction or an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe—to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get either of the currently available mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna).”
That left the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine as Rodgers’s final option, and he opted against it due to the brief pause that was put on that vaccine in the spring, amid news of individuals developing blood clots after receiving it.
The pause was eventually lifted, allowing states to resume using Johnson & Johnson, with the FDA adding a warning about the uncommon blood clotting issue. In total, six women developed the blood clots, with one dying, out of the more than 6.8 million doses that had been administered at the time, according to Yale Medicine.
According to an Oxford University study, the risk of blood clots is “substantially higher” from COVID-19 infection than it is as a side effect of one of the vaccines. Rodgers did not address these numbers during the interview.
Rodgers added that his desire to be a father, and concerns about the possible impact on fertility, also weighed on his decision. He cited “zero long-term studies” on the effects on male fertility as something else that would have given him pause, beyond his allergy to the mRNA vaccines.
The CDC says there is no link to male infertility issues based on current vaccination data:
“Currently no evidence shows that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause male fertility problems. A recent small study of 45 healthy men who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (i.e., Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) looked at sperm characteristics, like quantity and movement, before and after vaccination. Researchers found no significant changes in these sperm characteristics after vaccination.”
During the season, Rodgers has spoken to the media while unmasked, which appears to be a violation of NFL protocols for unvaccinated players. Rodgers denies skirting protocols, saying he “has taken this very seriously,” and has “followed every single [protocol] to a ‘T.’ “ He says the only time he opted against wearing a mask is when he was around all vaccinated people. The NFL is reviewing the Packers’ enforcement of COVID-19 protocols.
Later on, Rodgers referred to podcast host Joe Rogan as a “good friend of mine,” adding that he’s taken recommendations from his podcast and conversations they’ve had. Rogan has been a proponent of the use of ivermectin, which Rodgers says he’s taken.
The FDA recommends against the use of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19:
“The FDA has not authorized or approved ivermectin for use in preventing or treating COVID-19 in humans or animals. Ivermectin is approved for human use to treat infections caused by some parasitic worms and head lice and skin conditions like rosacea.
“Currently available data do not show ivermectin is effective against COVID-19. Clinical trials assessing ivermectin tablets for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 in people are ongoing.”