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22nd Feb 2021

Fans condemned for ‘booing’ Covid vaccine at Australian Open

Wil Jones

“I’m sorry, that is just un-Australian”

Fans attending the Australian Open have been criticised by the country’s government after a small number booed a reference to the Covdi-19 vaccination rollout.

During the ceremony after the men’s final, an official mentioned the vaccine, referring to it as a sign of optimism, only to be met by loud boos from a small amount of spectators.

Jayne Hrdlicka, president of Tennis Australia, was heckled following Novak Djokovic’s victory.

The booing has been called “disgusting” by the Australian Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.

“Well, that’s un-Australian,” McCormack told press in Canberra on Monday. “I’m sorry, that is just un-Australian.”

“I think it was rather disgusting behaviour. I don’t like booing at any event, and certainly any sporting event.”

“This vaccine is going to get our country back to some sort of pre-Covid normality,” he continued.

“This vaccine is going to prevent Australians from being in an ICU bed down the track, this vaccine needs to roll out right across the country.”

Novack Djokovic reigned supreme in the Australian Open, beating Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 in the final on Sunday in Melbourne.

Australian began its Covid vaccination programme on Monday. Most Australian citizens will receive the AstraZeneca jab.

The country’s government intends to have four million people vaccinated by March, and have the entire programme completed by the end of October.

Even though the country has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world for other diseases, Australia’s chief medical officer has warned of about 20% of the population could be hesitant to receive a jab.

The 2021 Australian Open initially limited spectators to around 50% of Melbourne Park’s usual capacity. However, only a few days into the tournament on February 12th, a snap five-day lockdown was ordered by Victoria State Government, meaning that the tournament had to continue behind closed doors. Fans were allowed back in on February 17th, with each session capped at 7,477 spectators.