While data regarding the vaccination of children against Covid-19 remains scarce, health officials across the country have warned that the rollout is progressing at a snail’s pace. In the city of Rio de Janeiro, only 39 percent of kids aged 8 to 11 have been vaccinated — the lowest on record for any vaccination campaign after one week.
In cities that make up Greater Rio de Janeiro, coverage rates are often even lower. In Niterói, the fifth-largest city in the state, only 6,500 of 29,000 eligible children have received their first dose of a Covid vaccine.
As a way to encourage parents to vaccinate their children, state prosecutors argue that vaccine mandates should be put in place for school enrollment.
Local administrations blame President Jair Bolsonaro for the slugging buy-in from families. Under his leadership, the federal government has tried to stall the distribution of vaccines to children. The president himself sowed distrust in immunizers and said his 11-year-old daughter won’t be getting a shot.
A lack of available pediatric jabs has also compromised the rollout, with Rio de Janeiro suspending its campaign targeted at children on Tuesday.
Brazilian regulators greenlit the use of special pediatric Pfizer doses for people aged 5 to 11 in December.
São Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, has been a positive outlier, with over 1 million shots given to children aged 5 to 11.