‘If they think I should vaccinate, I vaccinate’, says Bolsonaro

BRASILIA – President Jair Bolsonaro admitted this Saturday that he could be vaccinated against Covid-19. The statement reinforces a change in position in relation to immunization, after numerous speeches against the possibility of using the drug.

– But I think this vaccine of mine has to be given to someone who has not yet contracted the virus and is at much, much greater risk than mine. For my part, there is no problem looking for a health center, since my age group entered there – Bolsonaro said in a conversation with journalists at the door of the Palácio da Alvorada.

Look: Seven times that Bolsonaro discouraged vaccines against Covid-19

According to the vaccination schedule in the Federal District, Bolsonaro can now be vaccinated starting this Saturday, for being 66 years old. There is still no information on when and if the president will indeed be immunized.

In recent months, Bolsonaro has made statements against immunization, including saying he sees no need to get vaccinated because he has already contracted the disease. The vaccine, however, is also indicated for those who have already been infected with the new coronavirus.

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In a live broadcast on social media on Thursday, the president had already considered the possibility of getting vaccinated, but said he would only decide on this after the last Brazilian was immunized.

– I think it must happen: after the last Brazilian is vaccinated, if there is a vaccine left, then I will decide whether to vaccinate or not – he said, at the time.

In addition to discarding immunization, the president criticized the vaccination campaign throughout the pandemic. He challenged the safety and efficacy of vaccines – especially CoronaVac, developed by Sinovac Biotech in partnership with the Butantan Institute – on several occasions, in addition to taking a stand against mandatory vaccination.

Find out now: What is your place in the vaccine queue?

The most emblematic case, which became a meme on social networks, was when it stated in December that anyone who received the drug developed by Pfizer could become an alligator.

– If you become a chi … become an alligator, it’s your problem, damn it. I will not speak another animal, because they will think that I will talk nonsense here, right? If you become a superman, if a woman is born with a beard, or if a man starts talking thinly, they have nothing to do with it. Or, what is worse, tampering with people’s immune systems – he said, on December 18 of last year.

There have also been successive delays and refusals in the purchase of vaccines, which has led Brazil to shortage of doses and slow immunization, amid the collapse of health facilities, the lack of supplies and the health crisis.

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In addition, Bolsonaro advocated early treatment, with drugs of proven ineffectiveness for covid-19, such as chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin. The so-called “Covid kit” was even distributed in health units.

There are suspicions that ivermectin has led four patients in São Paulo to join the liver transplant queue. Another three infected with covid-19 are said to have died after receiving hydroxychloroquine nebulization in Ro Grande do Sul.

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