Iron Maiden rocker Bruce Dickinson has encouraged fans to get vaccinated against COVID-19, saying the highly contagious virus is “not the flu”.

Speaking in a recent interview with Gregg Stone of the 103.5 The Fox radio station, Dickinson discussed his battle with the virus last month after he contracted a breakthrough infection despite being double vaccinated.

“The delta variant is the dominant strain in America, and has been the dominant strain in the U.K. and Europe for a while now,” Dickinson said of the deadly COVID strain spreading across the globe.

“But people who have gotten vaccinated are just not dying from it — not really. Something like 98 per cent of people in hospitals haven’t had a vaccine shot.

“I don’t believe that people should be forced to have vaccines,” he continued.

“Maybe in hospitals and stuff like that — people who work there. But honestly, it’s a personal decision.

“But I just think people are nuts not to take protective action against something that really could kill them.

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“It’s not a nice bug,” Dickinson added.

“It’s not the flu — trust me. I’ve had it, and I had two vaccines, and I’m really glad I had the two vaccines. And I’m kind of glad I had [COVID-19] as well ’cause now I’ve got more antibodies and all the rest of it.

“But it is not a nice bug. And I know a lot of people who have had it and who’ve still got long COVID — like, 22, 23. Fit people — none of this, ‘Oh, yeah, he died ’cause he was 85 and he was sick anyway.’ Well, yeah, there is that. But there’s a lot of people getting it.

“It’s not a nice bug. And it’s not the flu — it’s way more contagious than that.”

Dickinson previously spoke with Rolling Stone, where he said he didn’t believe that people should be vaccinated by force, though he hoped fans attending concerts would receive the jab.

“Personally, I think people are just very badly advised if they don’t go and get themselves double jabbed as quickly as possible, not for the reasons of going into concerts, but for their own health,” he said at the time.

“Having said that, even if you’ve had a double jab, you can still get COVID, and therefore you can spread it to other people who might not have been vaccinated and they might get very sick and die.

“Now you cannot legislate against mortality. There are many things in this world that kill people and they’re not illegal but are unfortunate.

“Cancer kills a lot of people. Heart attacks kill a lot of people. Obesity kills a lot of people. Malaria kills a shitload of people every year… So at some point, we have to just go, ‘We’re probably going to have to live with this. And if we’re going to live with it, then you have your vaccination.'”

You can read more about this topic on the Metal Observer.