Full Novak Djokovic statement as he explains anti-Covid-19 vaccination stance

Shahida Jacobs
Novak Djokovic press conference

Novak Djokovic has reiterated that he is “opposed to the vaccination against Covid-19 in order to be able to travel”, but insists he is “keeping an open mind” and will continue to research the issue.

The world No 1 caused a bit of an uproar earlier in the week when he revealed during a Facebook Live session with fellow Serbian players that he “wouldn’t want to be forced by someone” to take a Covid-19 vaccination in order to travel for tennis.

Novak Djokovic opposed to compulsory Covid-19 vaccination: ‘I wouldn’t want to be forced to take it’

He was criticised by a top Serbian scientist as government epidemiologist Predrag Kon said “he’s created misconceptions” with his remarks.

Djokovic, though, has clarified his stance in a statement.

“Personally I am opposed to the vaccination against Covid-19 in order to be able to travel,” the 17-time Grand Slam winner said. “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.

“Many tennis players, athletes have reached out to me asking what my opinion is on this whole 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 tennis world.

“To be honest, just like the rest of the world I am a bit confused. Despite having access to information and resources, I am left in doubt about what could be the best thing to do.

“My job requires lots of travel, some are saying that for us who travel, we would have to take the vaccine that is yet to be developed. Therefore, I would like to repeat and point out that at this moment we do not have adequate information. We don’t know if there will be new measures, which of them will be taken, will we have a choice to decide on our own what to do or not with the vaccine…

“I would like to know more details about the whole process, before making right decisions. I am curious about wellbeing and I am going to spend the whole lifetime learning about body and how we can empower our metabolism to be in best shape to defend against imposters like Covid 19.

“My fullest respect and gratitude goes to all the noble and compassionate medical people who are giving support to the ones that need it the most.

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

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