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‘Fake vaccine’ being sold on outskirts of Rio de Janeiro

. Oct 13, 2020
'Fake vaccine' being sold on outskirts of Rio de Janeiro

The Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) has launched an investigation after reports that a fake Covid-19 vaccine is being sold in Niterói, which neighbors Rio de Janeiro. 

“Complaints were presented on September 25, and we forwarded them to the Federal Police on the very same day,” said Anvisa in a statement.

According to the regulatory body, one unnamed company is selling a product labeled as that being developed by British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in partnership with the University of Oxford. This potential vaccine — which is still undergoing phase-three trials in several countries, including Brazil — is expected to be one of the first to hit the market, but that is not the case yet.

Brazil is the second-most eager country for receiving a Covid-19 vaccine according to a September poll by Ipsos-Mori — 88 percent of people would take it as soon as it is available. 

As we showed in our October 13 Weekly Report, over 70 percent of people in four major urban centers (São Paulo, Rio, Belo Horizonte, and Recife) even want a vaccine against the coronavirus to be made mandatory. However, enthusiasm for the vaccine is lower among wealthier classes. President Jair Bolsonaro has said on multiple occasions that “nobody can force anybody” to receive immunization.

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Gustavo Ribeiro

An award-winning journalist, Gustavo has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics and international affairs. He has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets and founded The Brazilian Report in 2017. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science and Latin American studies from Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris.

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