On the April 23 edition of his Spotify podcast, Joe Rogan encouraged healthy young people not to get a COVID-19 vaccine, saying, “If you're like 21 years old, and you say to me, should I get vaccinated? I'll go no.”
Experts estimate that in order to achieve herd immunity, society may need to get to a critical mass of 70% to 90% of people vaccinated.
Rogan is one of the most influential podcast hosts in the world. His show is broadcast exclusively on Spotify and is the most popular podcast on the platform. He has frequently used his podcast to spread conspiracy theories, espouse dangerous COVID-19 misinformation, and attack trans people.
The Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved any coronavirus vaccine for children under 16. Pfizer's vaccine has been approved for people older than 16, and Moderna's has been approved for those who are at least 18 years old. Notably, coronavirus vaccine trials on infants and teenagers have begun, “in what scientists say is a crucial step toward controlling the pandemic.” Despite this, Rogan said that vaccinating children was “crazy,” and his guest, comedian Dave Smith, called it an “experiment.” Rogan also claimed of COVID-19, “We’re talking about something that is not statistically dangerous for children.”
According to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Association, 296 children have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. as of April 22.