Group tries to take vaccines to Rio de Janeiro favelas

favelas rio de janeiro
Favela da Babilônia, in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Fabio Photos/Shutterstock

On February 10, as a way of demanding more attention from the Rio de Janeiro state government on poor favelas, a group of NGOs held the “Day of Mobilization Efforts against Covid-19,” with several cultural and political awareness-raising activities. 

Besides raising funds for helping those communities, the NGOs demand that Rio health authorities include residents of favelas in priority vaccination groups, with the slogan “Vaccine in the favelas, now.”

Since July 2020, the Unified Panel of Covid-19 in Favelas — a data-compiling initiative to monitor the spread of the coronavirus in poor areas of Rio de Janeiro — has been reporting a lack of care, inconsistent information, and the infeasibility of demanding isolation measures for favela residents with informal jobs. 

The Rio de Janeiro coronavirus collapse

The state of Rio de Janeiro is facing its worst stage of the crisis since the start of the pandemic. The state capital even overtook São Paulo as the Brazilian city with the most Covid-19 deaths, despite having a population half of its size. To make matters worse, the number of available intensive care units in the state dropped by more than 80 percent.

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