Tennis players have to be vaccinated in order to play the 2022 Australian Open, but not all vaccines are considered equal. Natalia Vikhlyantseva will miss the Grand Slam this time around as she received the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, which has not been approved nor recognized by the Australian government, more specifically the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
The Russian world No.194 explains on Twitter that she has always enjoyed playing the Australian Open, but the vaccination protocols are limiting her this time, even though she has taken the jab:
Unfortunately, I will not participate in this year AO event. I’m really happy with a level of tennis I showed on a last few events and I wish to play in Australia but Sputnik is not verified yet. Good luck for all participants and AO team, who always made amazing events!
Sputnik V is a Russian vaccine, the world’s first registered COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in 71 countries with a total population of 4 billion people. However, it is not on Australia’s list. Vaccines currently recognized in Australia include: AstraZeneca Vaxzevria, AstraZeneca Covishield, Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty, Moderna Spikevax or Takeda, Sinovac Coronavac, Bharat Biotech Covaxin, Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV, and Johnson & Johnson/ Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine.