You are here: Home » International » News » Others
Business Standard

Protests in Brazil support President Bolsonaro in anti-vaccine stance

Groups of protesters gathered in Brazil's two biggest cities to demonstrate against any mandate for the taking of a Covid-19 vaccine, supporting a rejection campaign encouraged by President Bolsonaro

Brazil | Jair Bolsonaro | Coronavirus Tests

AP  |  Sao Paulo 

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro speaks with journalists as he arrives at Alvorada Palace, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brasilia, Brazil
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro

Small groups of protesters gathered in Brazil's two biggest cities on Sunday to demonstrate against any mandate for the taking of a vaccine, supporting a rejection campaign encouraged by President

People assembled in downtown Sao Paulo calling for the removal of Sao Paulo state Governor Joao Doria, who has said state residents will be required to take a vaccine, likely the one being developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac and the local Butantan Institute.

"Doria will fall!" the protestors chanted. "Out with Doria!"

The CoronaVac, as it is being called, has been a prime target for skepticism from Bolsonaro and others, with the president saying Brazilians will not be guinea pigs to the Chinese. The issue has become a talking point in mayoral and city council campaigns for elections later this month, and as most health professionals support vaccination, social media campaigns have raised questions about possible perils of vaccines.

Demonstrators supporting Bolsonaro on the question also protested on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.

A PoderData poll said this week the percentage of Brazilians who say they would take a vaccine dropped to 63 in October from 85 four months earlier. The percentage rejecting the idea of taking a vaccine rose to 22 from eight in July.

The Getulio Vargas Foundation think tank said an analysis of two million Twitter postings found that 24 per cent of profiles identified as pro-Bolsonaro and they accounted for 56 per cent of mentions against the vaccine. On the other side, 47 per cent of profiles identified as pro-vaccine and represented 32 per cent of the postings.

In October, Doria said vaccination would be mandatory in his state, and Bolsonaro's health minister, Eduardo Pazuello, announced that the country had agreed to purchase CoronaVac doses produced locally.

The president quickly responded that he would not allow the import of vaccines from China. Though the health regulator later gave permission for Butantan to import six million doses, on Thursday the president said on his weekly live programme that he would not buy the vaccine and that the governor should "find someone else to buy your vaccine".

On Friday, Vice President Hamilton Mourao told the magazine Veja that "of course" the country will buy the Butantan-Sinovac vaccine. Bolsonaro immediately responded that he is the one with the power and he will not spend on any vaccine that is not approved by the Brazilian health regulator.

has reported more than 5.5 million confirmed cases of infections, and about 160,000 people have died from COVID-19, the disease that can be caused by the virus. While the spread of the virus has begun slowing, public health experts warn people not to let their guard down.

Health professionals are also speaking out in an effort to shore up support for vaccines.

"Vaccination en masse with high coverage would be the only mechanism we have to control the epidemic, at least in the medium-term," Jesem Orellana, an epidemiology researcher at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, a scientific research institution, said in a written response to questions. "We have failed over the past eight months with non-pharmacological measures."

Dr Paulo A Lotufo, a University of Sao Paulo epidemiologist, said national immunisation programmes have been well-received by the Brazilian public, which has seen the positive impact of vaccinations, including against meningitis and polio.

"The population will take the vaccine," Lotufo predicted in a Skype interview. "More than 90 per cent of the population will vaccinate.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Mon, November 02 2020. 07:35 IST