Serbian tennis superstar Novak Djokovic said he would feel conflicted if he was required to get a COVID-19 vaccination to travel or compete in tournaments. His reason? He’s against vaccination.
During a live Facebook chat with other Serbian athletes on Sunday, Djokovic discussed his feelings on vaccines in the context of COVID-19. He doesn’t want to be forced, and doesn’t know if his opinion on that will change.
"Personally, I am opposed to vaccination, and I wouldn't want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel," Djokovic said via ESPN. "But if it becomes compulsory, what will happen? I will have to make a decision. I have my own thoughts about the matter, and whether those thoughts will change at some point, I don't know.
"Hypothetically, if the season was to resume in July, August or September, though unlikely, I understand that a vaccine will become a requirement straight after we are out of strict quarantine, and there is no vaccine yet."
Currently there is no vaccine for COVID-19, and one may not be available until early next year. So it’ll be awhile before Djokovic has to make that decision, even if tennis does manage to resume in late summer. While the French Open has been rescheduled and will now take place after the US Open in September, Wimbledon was completely canceled. It’s unclear if there will be any tennis before September, or if the French Open and the US Open will even be held as planned.
Djokovic’s views on vaccinations are contrary to scientific findings and medical evidence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found zero link between vaccines and long-term health problems or autism.
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