Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro confirms he will not get a Covid-19 vaccine

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has confirmed he will not be vaccinated against Covid-19, having previously said he would be “the last Brazilian” to do so.

The far-right leader has sparked controversy over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and initially downplaying the virus, despite infecting himself.

“I decided not to receive the vaccination. I am looking at new studies, I already have the highest level of immunization, so why should I receive the vaccination?” The 66-year-old said in an interview with Radio Jovim Ban this week.

“It would be like betting 10 riyals in the lottery to win two. It makes no sense.”

Bolsonaro, a coronavirus skeptic, previously claimed that the Pfizer vaccine could turn people into crocodiles due to secondary effects.

Since contracting Covid-19 in July 2020, Bolsonaro has repeatedly claimed that tests have shown he has a large number of antibodies to fight the virus and therefore does not need to be vaccinated, which experts dispute.

Bolsonaro also strongly opposes the health permits, granted to those who are vaccinated, that some large Brazilian cities require in order to access some public places.

“For me, freedom comes before anything else. If a citizen doesn’t want to be vaccinated, that’s their right and that’s the end of it,” Bolsonaro told Jovim Ban.

Nearly 100 million of Brazil’s 213 million people have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, while another 50 million have received a single dose.

Last week, the country passed 600,000 deaths from Covid-19, the second-worst death toll in the world after the United States.

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Bolsonaro’s refusal to vaccinate drew criticism from abroad, particularly in September when he traveled to New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

While there, he was photographed standing on a street eating pizza, something the Brazilian press attributed to his inability to enter restaurants due to her unvaccinated.

© – AFP 2021

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