Rugby star Henry Slade will refuse Covid jab as he 'does not fancy it'

England rugby star Henry Slade will refuse Covid vaccine because he ‘does not fancy it’ and says regular testing for his job offers him protection

  • Henry Slade, 28, has Type 1 diabetes and was part of sixth priority group for jab
  • But the Rugby player said he does not trust the Government’s recommendation
  • It makes him first high-profile British athlete to go publicly against expert advice
  • Diabetes UK ‘strongly encourages’ anyone with the condition to get vaccinated

Rugby player Henry Slade has said he will not have a Covid vaccine, claiming he ‘does not agree with it all’.

It makes him the first high-profile British athlete to go publicly against expert advice.

The 28-year-old, who has Type 1 diabetes, is listed as clinically vulnerable and was offered a jab as part of the sixth priority group.

But he said he does not trust the Government’s recommendation and that being fit and healthy he ‘does not fancy it at all’.

Henry Slade (pictured above, in March this year), 28, who has Type 1 diabetes, is listed as clinically vulnerable and was offered a Covid jab as part of the sixth priority group

Diabetes UK ‘strongly encourages’ anyone with the condition to get vaccinated. Its website states: ‘People with diabetes are vulnerable to developing a severe illness if they do get coronavirus, and vaccines are the most effective way to prevent that from happening.’

Mr Slade said frequent testing because of his job offers him protection. The Exeter player, who won his first of 38 England caps in 2015, told The Daily Telegraph: ‘I have had vaccines in the past and have fallen pretty unwell with them afterwards. 

‘I don’t know if that has anything to do with the diabetes or not. I am going to stay away from this one. I just think there hasn’t been anywhere near enough testing to deem it safe.’

The NHS stresses that the Covid-19 jabs available in Britain are safe and effective. 

Diabetes UK ‘strongly encourages’ anyone with the condition to get vaccinated. Its website states: ‘People with diabetes are vulnerable to developing a severe illness if they do get coronavirus’ (file photo of Covid vaccine dose)

Its guidance states: ‘The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.’

The Exeter helped his club, the Exeter Chiefs, win last season’s Premiership and Champions Cups.

He told the paper his dependence on his body and physical health did not influence his decision.

The NHS says vaccines will only be available once they have been thoroughly tested for safety and efficacy.

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