In an early Christmas reward to some, Chile and Mexico started immunizations on Thursday after granting emergency approval for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. But in Brazil, the place the Covid-19 loss of life toll is much greater, lifesaving inoculation could possibly be out of attain for months — the nation’s Health Ministry introduced final week that vaccinations would start in February 2021.
Because Brazil has a sturdy observe file of nationwide vaccination, she says there was a widespread expectation that Brazilians would have a regional benefit within the battle in opposition to the pandemic.
“Brazil has always been the leader in the implementation of new vaccines. We manage to achieve high vaccine coverage, even though it is a continental country with very different regions, such as São Paulo with a high population density and Amazonas, with huge distances, (and) an indigenous population,” she stated.
“People were expecting that the Brazilian vaccination program would start earlier,” she stated. But “other countries of the Americas that prepared themselves are already starting the vaccination, and Brazil has been left behind.”
With greater than 7.4 million folks identified with Covid-19 in Brazil and new variants of the virus showing overseas, there’s little motive to suppose that the pandemic is really fizzling out — a declare that Bolsonaro repeatedly made this 12 months, whilst instances continued to mount within the nation. Only the US and India have reported extra coronavirus infections than Brazil.
The Brazilian President additionally made headlines final week with an outlandish try and sow doubt about potential uncomfortable side effects from the Pfizer vaccine. “If you become an alligator, that is your problem,” he warned. “If you become Superman, or grow a beard as a woman, or a man’s voice becomes high pitched, I have nothing to do with that … or worse interfere in people’s immune systems.”
Pfizer didn’t reply to CNN’s request for remark.
Domingues believes that Brazil’s federal authorities was caught unprepared to make use of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, after throwing its help behind a vaccine candidate by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, which have partnered with native basis Fiocruz. According to a assertion revealed final week by the Health Ministry, Brazil has agreed to accumulate greater than 100 million doses of that vaccine, which stays in improvement.
Meanwhile fears linger over the affect of politics on the method, after a 12 months of bitter clashes between Bolsonaro and state governors over the nation’s pandemic response.
The President has made no secret of preferring the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to a vaccine developed by Chinese maker Sinovac Biotech, which is backed by the state of Sao Paulo and in improvement domestically with Brazilian lab Butantan Institute.
ANVISA and the Brazilian Health Ministry didn’t reply to requests for remark.
Reporting contributed by Tatiana Arias, Jennifer Z. Deaton, Natalie Gallon and Stefano Pozzebon.
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