Coronavirus

Bolsonaro ally tries to circumvent vaccination passports

Lawmaker Carla Zambelli set up a web page with resources for people refusing Covid-19 vaccination. Photo: Nilson Bastian/Câmara dos Deputados
Lawmaker Carla Zambelli set up a web page with resources for people refusing Covid-19 vaccination. Photo: Nilson Bastian/Câmara dos Deputados

More than a year after the Covid-19 vaccination campaign started in the country, and with more than 73 percent of Brazilians fully immunized, federal lawmaker and staunch Bolsonaro ally Carla Zambelli launched a website with resources for those who do not want to be vaccinated.

The page contains ready-made forms with arguments for non-vaccinated people to demand entrance to places where proof of vaccination is required, such as schools, bars, and restaurants.

She cites an excerpt from Brazil’s Civil Code that says “no one can be compelled to submit, at the risk of life, to medical treatment or surgical intervention.” The site recommends users attempt to settle disputes with establishments requiring proof of vaccination in a “friendly” manner, before resorting to the law.

A study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already shown that those who are not vaccinated are up to 97 percent more likely to die from Covid than those who have already taken three shots.

In addition, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) state that the vast majority of vaccine side-effects are mild and brief.

Currently, Covid-19 vaccination is not mandatory in Brazil, but states and municipalities may require vaccination passports so that people can access public and private spaces.

Recently, a survey by the Ipsos Institute for the World Economic Forum showed that eight out of ten Brazilians are in favor of mandatory vaccination and approve requirements for vaccination passports.

Ms. Zambelli is one of President Jair Bolsonaro’s closest allies in Congress. However, while she has remained a staunch anti vaxxer, the head of state has toned down his messaging regarding vaccinations, after his team found that his stance could be hurting his re-election campaign.