Coronavirus Outbreak: Novak Djokovic reaffirms stance against mandatory vaccination but says he could change his mind later

In a statement on Tuesday, Djokovic said many tennis players and other athletes have asked him for his opinion on this situation

The Associated Press April 21, 2020 17:05:11 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: Novak Djokovic reaffirms stance against mandatory vaccination but says he could change his mind later

Belgrade: Novak Djokovic has reiterated he is against taking an anti- Coronavirus vaccination if it becomes mandatory to travel once the pandemic subsides, but says he’s open to changing his mind.

 <span class=Coronavirus Outbreak Novak Djokovic reaffirms stance against mandatory vaccination but says he could change his mind later" width="380" height="285" />

File image of Novak Djokovic. AP

The top-ranked Djokovic said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press on Tuesday, ’’Personally I am opposed to the vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be able to travel. But if it becomes compulsory, I will have to make a decision whether to do it or not. This is my current feeling, and I don’t know if it will change, but it really influences my profession.”

A vaccine hasn't been made yet, but some such as Amelie Mauresmo have said the world tennis tours shouldn't restart until there is one.

Djokovic caused a stir in a live Facebook chat with fellow Serb players on Sunday when he said that if a vaccination was compulsory when the tours resume then he “wouldn’t want to be forced by someone” to take it.

In his statement on Tuesday, Djokovic said many tennis players and other athletes have asked him for his opinion on this situation.

“I have expressed my views because I have the right to and I also feel responsible to highlight certain essential topics that are concerning the tennis world," he said.

Djokovic and his wife Jelena advocate natural healing and not vaccinations, and said that like the rest of the world, he was “a bit confused."

“I am no expert, but I do want to have an option to choose what’s best for my body," he said. “I am keeping an open mind, and I’ll continue to research this topic because it is important and it will affect all of us."

Prominent Serbian epidemiologist Predrag Kon, a member of the state team fighting the spread of COVID-19 , said Djokovic should not have made anti-vaccination statements because of his huge public influence in his native Balkan country.

Djokovic won the Australian Open in January for his 17th grand slam singles title, and the ATP suspended its tour in March because of the global virus outbreak.

Click here to follow LIVE updates on coronavirus outbreak

Updated Date:

also read

India reports less than 50,000 new COVID-19 cases, lowest in 91 days; active cases fall below 7 lakh
India

India reports less than 50,000 new COVID-19 cases, lowest in 91 days; active cases fall below 7 lakh

A total of 42,640 new cases were reported in a day, while the toll climbed to 3,89,302 with 1,167 daily fatalities, the lowest in 68 days

India reports 53,256 new COVID-19 cases today; daily positivity falls to 3.83%, says Centre
India

India reports 53,256 new COVID-19 cases today; daily positivity falls to 3.83%, says Centre

Active cases comprise 2.35 percent of the total caseload, while national COVID-19 recovery rate is 96.36 percent, the health ministry said

Euro 2020 explainer: Challenges of 11-country event, COVID-19 protocols and a look at co-hosting
Sports

Euro 2020 explainer: Challenges of 11-country event, COVID-19 protocols and a look at co-hosting

COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenges of hosting Euro 2020 in 11 venues across 11 European nations.