“Hello everyone, I wanted to give you some news following my recent withdrawals from tournaments. I suffered a small health glitch (probably following my third dose of vaccine).
“On the advice of my doctor, I decided to take some time to rest. So unfortunately I will not be able to play the Davis Cup next week. I hope to be able to return in the United States.”
He is the second French player to be forced off court after a suspected adverse reaction to a coronavirus vaccine. Jeremy Chardy, now ranked 138, has not played a match since the U.S. Open last summer.
Novak Djokovic, who is playing his first tournament of the season in Dubai this week, is the only unvaccinated player in the men’s top 100.
With 95 per cent of adults in Ireland having received two Covid-19 vaccine doses, and more than two-thirds having had a booster, the flow of people passing through the country’s vaccination centres has slowed to a trickle. A system that had built up enough capacity to provide more than 500,000 jabs in one week in December is now called on to administer just a few thousand every week.
The success of that programme, which gave Ireland one of the world’s highest vaccination rates, has saved many lives,spared countless others from serious illness and was a key factor in enabling the Government to lift most public health restrictions last month.
Yet, at home and abroad, it is vital that the focus remain on vaccines. The potential for the emergence of new Covid variants and the likelihood that further boosters may be required means that states must maintain stocks and rollout infrastructure for rapid use.
Efforts to reach communities that have so far resisted vaccination must continue, and the misinformation spread by Covid deniers and conspiracy theorists must be fought with facts, reassurance and scientific rigour.