UFC commentator and popular podcast host Joe Rogan told his younger listeners on Tuesday not to bother getting the COVID-19 vaccine, despite mounting calls from health officials for the participation of younger demographics to help the country reach herd immunity.
Rogan reportedly told listeners on the April 23 episode of his highly popular Spotify podcast, "The Joe Rogan Experience," that they can forego the vaccine assuming they're fit and healthy.
His comments directly contradict the latest CDC guidance, which encourages all those over the age of 16 and up to receive the vaccine and help move the country closer to reaching herd immunity.
The 53-year-old podcast legend recommended that 'vulnerable' listeners get the shot, noting that his own parents had received their vaccines.
"People say, 'Do you think it's safe to get vaccinated?' I've said, yeah, I think for the most part it's safe to get vaccinated. I do. I do," Rogan said.
"But if you're like 21 years old, and you say to me, Should I get vaccinated? I'll go no,' he clarified.
" Look, don’t do anything stupid, but you should take care of yourself," Rogan continued. "You should -- If you're a healthy person, and you're exercising all the time, and you're young, and you're eating well, like, I don't think you need to worry about this."
Rogan's controversial comments sparked mixed reactions on social media.
"if you’re 21 years old and you say to Joe Rogan, should I get a vaccine? I’ll go, wtf are you doing asking Joe Rogan?," New York Times opinion columnist Farhad Manjoo wrote.
"Young healthy people should get vaccinated beacuse they can easily contract Covid, spread it & potentially serve as a vessel for the virus to mutate to be deadlier and resistant to existing vaccines. Come on @joerogan, be better, podcaster, Brandon Farmahini, tweeted.
"My feeling is that, no matter what your age, you should not take medical advice from Joe Rogan," another user added.
While some users called for Rogan to be fired from the streaming platform, others were quick to come to his defense.
"Joe Rogan is correct about the COVID vaccine for kids & young healthy people," conservative commentator Liz Wheeler wrote.
"Joe Rogan said that he doesn't think healthy 21 year olds should take the 'rona jab. That makes perfect sense," British rapper Zuby wrote. "I actually think that's why the usual weirdo mob is attacking him. Because he's correct. They hate that. Psychopaths all over this app."
"Uh oh... Joe Rogan basing vaccine decisions off of actual statistics instead of fear has upset the cultists," Tim Young concurred.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson addressed the backlash on his show Tuesday night, telling viewers that "if you're at risk, get the vaccine, protect yourself, be happy with it, be grateful we have the vaccine. And," Carlson continued, "if you're not at risk, maybe you don't. Is that a crazy point?"
Conservative pundit Steven Crowder expressed a similar sentiment, tweeting Tuesday that "There is nothing inaccurate, out of line or even remotely radical about Joe Rogan’s statements."