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Fans watch the FIFA World Cup match France versus Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia on July 15, 2018. Photo: Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Qatar will require fans attending the 2022 World Cup to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the Associated Press reported Sunday.

Why it matters: As the Tokyo Olympics has shown, even with the advent of coronavirus vaccines, the pandemic has the ability to wreck havoc on sporting tournaments.

The big picture: "Qatar will not allow fans to enter stadiums without receiving a full vaccination against the virus," Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani told state media Sunday, per AP.

  • The country is trying to secure a million vaccine doses to immunize fans, he added.
  • Qatar has has 585 deaths from COVID-19 and 220,800 cases, per AP.

What they're saying: "Our primary goal in vaccinating the unvaccinated is to protect the public health of citizens and residents," Sheikh Khalid said, according to AP.

Go deeper: Boycott threats loom over Qatar World Cup and Beijing Olympics

Go deeper

Sep 20, 2021 - World

Biggest evacuation flight under Taliban rule departs Kabul for Doha

A Qatar Airways aircraft taxis before taking off from Kabul's international airport on Sept. 9. Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty Images

A flight carrying more than 230 passengers, including Afghans, Americans and other international civilians departed from Kabul's airport for Qatar's capital, Doha, Sunday, Qatari official Lolwah Al-Khater announced.

Why it matters: A Qatari official told Reuters 236 passengers were on the plane — making it the biggest evacuation flight since the full U.S. military pullout on Aug. 31. It's the fourth airlift by Qatar Airways from Afghanistan under Taliban rule.

Go deeper: Afghan refugees headed to 46 states

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

NYC firefighters union urges members to defy mayor's vaccine mandate

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The president of New York City's firefighters union told reporters Wednesday that he's advised unvaccinated members to ignore Mayor Bill de Blasio's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city workers, per Reuters.

Why it matters: Under de Blasio's order that's due to take effect Friday, unvaccinated city employees would be placed on unpaid leave. But Uniformed Firefighters Association head Andrew Ansbro said he told members that "if they choose to remain unvaccinated, they must still report for duty," according to Reuters.

4 hours ago - Health

Study: Common antidepressant guards against COVID hospitalization

A COVID-19 intensive Care Unit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on May 27, 2021. Photo: Fabio Teixeira/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The readily available antidepressant fluvoxamine significantly reduced COVID-related hospitalizations, according to a large study published Wednesday.

Why it matters: The clinical trial suggests that a cheap, readily available drug could dramatically reduce serious illness and death when prescribed early.