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Novak Djokovic unsure he’d take coronavirus vaccination to return to tennis

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Novak Djokovic told a Facebook live chat he is “opposed to vaccination.”

TENNIS-ATP-DUBAI-UAE Photo by KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images

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.