Nurse Monica Calazans, 54, became the first person to receive a coronavirus vaccine in Brazil on Sunday afternoon. Ms. Calazans works in the intensive care unit of São Paulo’s flagship medical facility, the Emílio Ribas Institute.
“I was criticized with jokes, memes. I was called a guinea pig. I’m not a guinea pig. My name is all around the world: black, Brazilian, and participant in a vaccine trial. Let’s get vaccinated — don’t be afraid,” she said, during a press conference.
The vaccine — a shot of the Chinese made CoronaVac — was administered just moments after federal regulator Anvisa issued its emergency approval for CoronaVac, as well as the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and British-Swedish lab AstraZeneca.
The first inoculation was organized by the state government of São Paulo, in order to give Governor João Doria a major photo op in his feud with the federal government and President Jair Bolsonaro. “This is a historic moment for Brazil. It is [in São Paulo] that we started to vaccinate Brazilians,” said Mr. Doria.
Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello said the nationwide vaccination plan should be launched on January 20 at 10 am (Brasília time). Mr. Doria, however, says his state will start inoculating people as soon as January 18.Support this coverage →