President Jair Bolsonaro sparked a possible anti-vax wave in Brazil, after he declared that “no one can force anyone to get a vaccine,” while speaking to a supporter. Mr. Bolsonaro was told to “ban that vaccine thing” by an anti-vax voter, suggesting the medicine could be dangerous. In many far-right circles, especially on YouTube, it is common to see non-experts denouncing the existence of a ‘Chinese conspiracy’ behind the coronavirus pandemic — Brazil has not been spared from this trend.
The president’s words are also contradictory. While Mr. Bolsonaro never encouraged the population to fulfill isolation measures and positioned himself in favor of prioritizing the economy, he recently said that the vaccine being developed by pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca and Oxford University would solve the country’s Covid-19 problem.
The federal government signed a provisional decree that opened a BRL 1.9 billion budget credit for the purchase of 100 million doses and the subsequent local production of the Covid-19 vaccine. However, the risks of an anti-vax movement gaining steam during the pandemic are not just a problem for Brazil. In June, Newspaper El País wrote about the increase of these denialist wings amid the health crisis.
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