The former Olympic bronze medalist said he was “scared” to get a Covid-19 vaccine.
Belfast boxer Paddy Barnes has told the public he will not be getting the Covid-19 vaccine because of a heart attack his friend suffered, allegedly as a result of the injection.
The two-time bronze medalist said he would not be telling other people to avoid the vaccine, but that he was “just scared of it”, having seen firsthand “the damage it has done to my friend”, despite medical regulators in the UK and EU insisting the vaccine is safe.
I'm not anti vax, I'm just scared of it as I've seen 1st hand the damage it has done to my friend and have looked at stats from the yellow card thing, I know your trying to be funny but your not here Tim, stop. https://t.co/eRBHu0cJxK
— Paddy Barnes OLY (@paddyb_ireland) August 1, 2021
Barnes’ stance was quickly criticised by some on Twitter, with reactions varying between scorn and disdain.
Too many blows to the head Paddy.
OLYMPIC double boxing medallist Paddy Barnes has said he has not received his first Covid-19 amid suggestions that a friend took a heart attack after receiving his. @irish_news https://t.co/mEooZDPAi3
— Del (@NIMUFCsupporter) August 3, 2021
A real expert on immunology 😴
— Stephen M (@headofthetown) August 3, 2021
The 34-year-old hit back at critics who called him a “conspiracy theorist” and “anti-vax” however, insisting he wasn’t.
I've gave my experience of it, im not anti vax I'm scared of it, big difference.
— Paddy Barnes OLY (@paddyb_ireland) August 2, 2021
Well I got the 2 jabs, little to no effects afterwards. My sister in law got her 1st and 2 days later had a heart attack. Obviously still suffering weeks later. Wouldnt say your been a loon about it at all. Its affecting everyone very differently
— Just been Irish 🇮🇪 (@PrecariousPie) August 1, 2021
Barnes, who won bronze medals in Beijing and London in 2008 and 2012 respectively, also had a word to say about the Irish government’s focus on Covid-19, suggesting they might try to improve other areas of concern in Ireland too.
Should have a competition to see who can eradicate homelessness 1st. https://t.co/ucDGKdMdFq
— Paddy Barnes OLY (@paddyb_ireland) July 31, 2021