Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Tuesday spoke against both mandatory vaccination against the coronavirus and advertising campaigns to raise awareness of the need to be immunized.
“Now (do you want) the vaccine to be mandatory in Brazil? (...) no comments,” he said. Since the beginning of the pandemic, at the end of February 2020, Bolsonaro has been against mandatory vaccination, understanding that it violates the “freedom” and the “right to decide” of each citizen and in line with that opinion he has not taken any vaccine himself despite being 66 years old, an age group already by the corrent campaign in Brasilia.
Last week he insisted that the vaccine was “experimental” and its efficacy is not guaranteed unlike that of hydroxychloroquine. In Brazil, with 212 million inhabitants, almost 80 million vaccines were applied since the beginning of the campaign in mid-January.
Bolsonaro even said that mandatory vaccination is something typical of “dictators” and his son, Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro likened such a compulsory move to hospitalizing crack addicts.
According to official data by Monday night 55.7 million people had received the antidote, of which 23.7 million had taken both doses, which means that 11.21% of the population is already medicated.
In large capitals such as Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro, health authorities reported a significant number of people who had taken the first dose, but did not show up for the second. Specialists believe this is due people's not knowing that a single dose is not enough.
According to the Folha de San Pablo newspaper, the government redirected some R$ 52 million (US $ 10 million) from covid -19 campaigns to highlight personal actions undertaken by President Bolsonaro, who Tuesday addressed the issue: “The report says that 'Bolsonaro diverts' millions destined for Covid propaganda. Does it divert? Now it turns out that allocating resources from one place to another is called 'diverting'.” He went even farther: “Does anyone need to see more propaganda on television about covid?”
After a peak of cases, which reached 4,000 deaths in some days of April, the pandemic slowed down during May, but in recent weeks there was a slight rebound with a daily average close to 1,900 deaths for a total of 488,400 fatalities 17.4 million infections.
Brazilian research centers, such as the Fiocruz Institute, warned about the trend of increasing infections as well as deaths, before the eventual arrival of a third wave.