Novak Djokovic, a 17-time major winner in men’s tennis, said recently he is opposed to mandatory vaccines to resume international competition.
Like most professional sports, tennis is on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with no return in sight. Former player and current coach Amelie Mauresmo suggested in a March 31 tweet that the professional tennis circuit cannot resume until there is a vaccine for the virus. Djokovic was asked about that assertion during a Facebook live chat Sunday, saying:
“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, but if it becomes compulsory, what will happen? I will have to make a decision.”
Covid-19 vaccine research is underway, but researchers do not believe that a vaccine will be available until at least 2021.
This is not the first time Djokovic has been linked to controversial medical opinions. He adopted a gluten-free diet when he was convinced he was allergic by a doctor holding a piece of bread against his skin.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a vaccine safety FAQ if you’d like to learn more about common vaccine concerns and debunked theories about negative side effects.