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.

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

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

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic set new bar for next generations
Tennis

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic set new bar for next generations

Roger Federer and the other two members of that distinguished trio, along with Serena Williams, managed to do was demonstrate that it is possible to dominate for decades, not merely years, at a time.

Novak Djokovic still waiting on word on Australian Open chances
Tennis

Novak Djokovic still waiting on word on Australian Open chances

Australia's new visa rules stipulate incoming travelers no longer have to have provide proof of COVID-19 vaccinations, or even provide a negative COVID test.

Novak Djokovic rules out retirement: 'Still have passion and hunger to play'
Tennis

Novak Djokovic rules out retirement: 'Still have passion and hunger to play'

Novak Djokovic said he's “feeling good and happy that injuries are now behind” him. It is allowing the 38-time ATP Masters 1000 title-winner to play his best tennis.