The São Paulo state government had removed quilombola groups — members of traditional communities originally formed by escaped slaves — from the list of priority groups to receive coronavirus vaccines. However, once the decision was revealed by news website G1, Governor João Doria ordered a U-turn.
São Paulo’s health department said that quilombolas were removed from the priority list as health regulator Anvisa would not have given emergency permission for them to be vaccinated with the CoronaVac, which Anvisa denies.
According to the National Coordination of Black Rural Quilombola Communities (Conaq), 179 quilombolas have died from Covid-19 in Brazil.
As has been the case with indigenous communities, quilombolas have always been among the highest priority groups for vaccination campaigns due to their poor access to healthcare. They are also listed among the first groups to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in the national immunization plan published by the Health Ministry in December. There are 51 quilombos in the state of São Paulo alone.
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