Speaking at a World Health Organization virtual conference, Brazil’s Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga guaranteed that the entire Brazilian population will receive coronavirus vaccines by the end of 2021.
Since January 17 — when nurse Monica Calazans became the first person in Brazil to receive a coronavirus vaccine — Brazil has immunized more than 31 million people with at least one vaccine dose, an average of 302,000 shots per day.
To meet Mr. Queiroga’s goal of reaching the entire Brazilian population (213 million people), the government would have to distribute shots to an average of 742,500 per day. The goal seems unlikely, given the many hiccups faced by immunization efforts. Cities in 18 states have halted rollouts this week due to a lack of supplies.
In his remarks, the Brazilian Health Minister pleaded for developed countries to donate excess doses to Brazil. “[That] will help contain the pandemic’s most critical phase and avoid the surge of new strains and variants,” he told the WHO.
Last week, however, the government cut its forecast for May vaccine deliveries by 30 percent, from 46 to 32 million shots.