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President Jair Bolsonaro again questioned the efficacy of vaccines on Friday, a few days after Brazil, in the middle of the second wave of the covid-19 pandemic, began its immunization campaign using the Chinese CoronaVac vaccine, which it criticized in frequent occasions.
“There are still a lot of people concerned with the vaccine. I’m going to make that very clear. It is for emergency use. I can’t force anyone to get vaccinated. I am not inconsistent. It has to be voluntary, after all there is nothing scientifically proven with this vaccine,” the president told reporters in Brasilia.
“I ask you to read the contracts with the companies to find out how far the investigations went and why it was not concluded that a vaccine is perfectly effective. From what everything indicates, according to Anvisa will help prevent serious cases from occurring in Brazil among those who have been vaccinated,” he added.
Bolsonaro, a skeptic about the severity of the pandemic and the efficacy of vaccines, did not explicitly refer to CoronaVac, developed by the Chinese laboratory Sinovac associated in Brazil with the Butantan Institute, in Sao Paulo.
But that immunizer is the only one that began to be administered in the country, after Anvisa authorized last Sunday the emergency use of six million doses.
The other licensed vaccine is the British AstraZeneca / Oxford, which will begin to be administered after the first two million doses arrive this Friday night from India, where they are manufactured.
The ‘Chinese vaccine’ has become a subject of political warfare between the far-right president and the governor of Sao Paulo, Joao Doria, his possible adversary in the 2022 presidential elections.
Brazil, which was late to the vaccination campaign compared to other countries, is experiencing a dramatic rebound in the pandemic, with more than a thousand deaths a day and a balance of almost 215,000 deaths, surpassed only by the United States.
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