Moderna keeping eye on 'high-risk anti-vaccine celebs' like Novak Djokovic

Djokovic won this year's US Open, where US-based vaccine manufacturer Moderna is one of the sponsors.

by Dzevad Mesic
Moderna keeping eye on 'high-risk anti-vaccine celebs' like Novak Djokovic
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

US-based vaccine manufacturer Moderna has reportedly hired a former FBI agent and developed an internal "disinformation unit" to follow "high-risk" celebrities like Novak Djokovic and monitor anti-vaccine sentiments shared online, via independent journalists Lee Fang and Jack Poulson.

Djokovic, a record 24-time Grand Slam champion, drew lots of criticism during the pandemic in 2020 when he spoke out against the idea of being required to take a COVID-19 vaccine. Since then, Djokovic has faced some harsh criticism but he has stayed firm in his beliefs and hasn't been vaccinated.

After missing the 2022 US Open because he wasn't allowed to enter the US as an unvaccinated foreigner, Djokovic returned to Flushing Meadows this year in style as he won the title. Moderna is one of the US Open's sponsors and some who share the same vaccine beliefs and views as Djokovic absolutely loved and enjoyed following the unvaccinated Serb winning one of the biggest tournaments in the world.

Some went as far as calling Djokovic "the anti-vaccine hero" and there were also social media posts mocking Moderna. All of that hasn't gone unnoticed by Moderna, who seemingly responded by taking action.

Moderna keeping tabs on Djokovic

“Djokovic Crowned Anti-vaccine Hero after US Open Win,” the report's internal title read, via Fang and Poulson.

In the report, it is also said: “The optics of Djokovic, whose vaccine opposition barred him from competing in the 2022 US Open, returning to and winning the Moderna-sponsored competition bolsters anti-vaccine claims that vaccines — and mandates — are unnecessary." The report published by Fang and Poulson also mentions that Moderna has Elon Musk and Russell Brand on their list of "high-risk" celebrities.

Meanwhile, NFL superstar Aaron Rodgers - who also hasn't been vaccinated - followed one of Djokovic's US Open wins this year. "(goat emoji) #novaxdjokovic," a hashtag from Rodgers' Instagram Story read. Rodgers also crossed the Moderna sign on the picture and captioned his post: "Bucket list (checked) being able to witness the greatness of @djokernole in person at #arthurashestadium."

Novak Djokovic Us Open