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Joe Rogan won’t take COVID-19 vaccine: ‘I would if I felt like I needed it’

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The host of the Joe Rogan Experience on Spotify revealed that he does not plan to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to him.

Joe Rogan at the broadcast booth at UFC 249 in May 2020. Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Joe Rogan—host of popular Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) podcast and the biggest podcast star on Spotify—has no intention of taking the coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available to him.

During a recent episode with actor and stand-up comedian Jamar Neighbors, Rogan questioned the importance of the vaccine for health-conscious individuals.

“No,” Rogan said when asked whether he would take the COVID-19 vaccine. “I mean I would if I felt like I needed it. I just feel like if you maintain your health—and I think for some people it’s important.”

Currently, there are two COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States: Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. The Pfizer vaccine has an efficacy rate of 95%, which means that approximately 95% of the people who get the vaccine are protected from becoming seriously ill with the virus. The Moderna vaccine has an efficacy rate of 94.1%, slightly lower than its counterpart. Both require two injections given 28 days apart.

Neither the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines use the live virus in their vaccines. Instead, both use messenger RNA (mRNA), which give cells instructions for how to make a harmless piece of an S protein, a spike-like structure on the surface of coronaviruses. After vaccination, your cells begin making the protein pieces and displaying them on cell surfaces. Your immune system will recognize that the protein doesn’t belong there and begin building an immune response and making antibodies.

The United States has administered more than 31,000.0000 does of COVID-19 vaccines to date. At least 5.82 million people have completed the two-dose vaccination regimen.

Despite successful clinical trials, well-documented studies and readily available information encouraging people to take the vaccine in order to stop the global pandemic, Rogan expressed doubts about the vaccine, and showed concern that he would not be allowed to travel unless he had been inoculated.

“I’m worried about [not being allowed to travel without vaccine]. I don’t like that. I want to know how people fare over x amount of months. What happens in six months after the vaccine? How long does it last for? Do you need it again next year?”

This is not the first time that Rogan has spread disinformation and debunked conspiracy theories to millions of listeners. In 2019, Rogan tried to validate an unfounded conspiracy theory based on Trump’s claims that Barack Obama broke a law during his transition out of office. Despite the theory being debunked by former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Rogan discussed the merits of the so-called “Obamagate” on his podcast and claimed that Obama was using the FBI to spy on Trump.

Also in 2019, Rogan repeated the false claim that “left-wing” protestors in Portland, Oregon were responsible for the wildfires in the area despite the FBI calling it a conspiracy theory. Rogan later apologized for his error, stating that he “fucked up.”