Elon Musk says Covid shot almost landed him in hospital

Elon Musk has complained that his Covid-19 vaccine shot almost sent him to the hospital, feeding into the belief shared by many of his followers that the immunisation is dangerous.

The billionaire reposted a video from another user on X claiming that vaccine effectiveness was on the decline around the world, and noting that some countries had halted the use of the shot.

He replied to a commenter on the video saying he was opposed to the "outrageous demand" that people get vaccinated.

“My concern was more the outrageous demand that people *must* take the vaccine and multiple boosters to do anything at all. That was messed up,” Mr Musk said.

Mr Musk claimed he would have rather gone to jail than enforce a mandatory vaccine policy for his workers. He then claimed his third vaccine shot nearly landed him in the hospital.

“As for myself, I got original Covid before the vaccine was out (mild cold symptoms) and had to get three vaccines for travel,” he stated. “The third shot almost sent me to [the] hospital.”

The Covid-19 vaccines can cause some side effects, the most common being pain and swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headache, chills, or muscle aches, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

There are extremely rare cases in which a recipient suffers from myocarditis or pericarditis, which is the inflammation of the heart muscle or its outer lining.

The condition is typically mild and heals on its own, but in extremely rare cases can require medical attention or be fatal.

Mr Musk did not describe the symptoms he experienced that he claims nearly caused him to seek hospitalisation.

“It’s not like I don’t believe in vaccines – I do. However, the cure cannot be potentially worse than the disease. And public debate over efficacy should not be shut down,” Mr Musk said, comparing the extremely small number of individuals who suffered severe reactions to the vaccine to the virus, which has killed at least 3 million people worldwide.

Critics of Mr Musk say that he has allowed his social media platform to become a home for vaccine sceptics to spread misinformation.

In November 2022, Mr Musk rolled back Twitter's policies policing Covid-19 and vaccine misinformation on the site. Covid-19 misinformation spiked in the latter half of November 2022 as anti-vaxxers returned to the platform and a vaccine-sceptic documentary "Died Suddenly" spread across social media, according to the Australian Broadcasting Company.

Since then, nearly every time a high-profile individual dies or falls ill, anti-vaxxers take to social media asking if the individual had taken the shots, suggesting it was the vaccine that caused their death or injury.

After the death of actor Paul Reuben — who died of cancer — and both NFL player Damar Hamlins' and college basketball player Bronny James' cardiac incidents, the social media platform was flooded with anti-vaxxers asking if the men had been vaccinated.