Jab rollout slowing down since August as Brazil begins vaccinating children

vaccination children pace
Illustration: Montage from Shutterstock

The average number of Brazilians completing their vaccination schedule — either by taking a second jab or a single-dose immunizer — fell from 1.1 million in September to just 158,000 on Tuesday. Almost 68 percent of the Brazilian population is twice vaccinated, but, at the current pace, it would take over a month for the country to reach 70 percent.

Part of the slowdown is because most people eligible for vaccination have already taken their necessary shots. Of the population allowed to take vaccines, 81.4 percent are fully immunized. Meanwhile, vaccine uptake from teenagers has been slow, with the group only being offered jabs since September.

With states now starting to vaccinate children aged 5 to 11, the pace should pick up again. São Paulo will be the first to administer pediatric doses today, and hopes to reach 4.3 million children within a three-week period. 

One obstacle to this has been the government’s continuous efforts to stall child vaccinations, with President Jair Bolsonaro calling the campaign “a shot in the dark” and some of his highest-profile supporters comparing it to infanticide.