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Coronavirus

Coronavirus: Brazil begins COVID-19 vaccination campaign

Published: Updated:

All Brazil’s available vaccine doses will be distributed to the country’s states on Monday, health minister Eduardo Pazuello said, with vaccinations able to start from 5 p.m. (2000 GMT).

The states had asked the government to bring forward the rollout of the only vaccine available - the CoronaVac shot made by China’s Sinovac Biotech and imported by the Butantan biomedical center in Sao Paulo.

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The vaccination plan was initially due to start on January 20.

Brazilian health regulator Anvisa on Sunday approved emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines from Sinovac and Britain’s AstraZeneca, clearing the way for immunizations as the pandemic enters a deadly second wave.

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Minutes after Anvisa’s board voted unanimously to approve both vaccines, Monica Calazans, a 54-year-old nurse in Sao Paulo, became the first person to be inoculated in the country, receiving the CoronaVac vaccine.

President Jair Bolsonaro, a coronavirus sceptic who has refused to take a vaccine himself, is under growing pressure to start inoculations in Brazil, which has lost more than 200,000 to COVID-19 – the worst death toll outside the United States.

Read more:

Brazil clears emergency use of Sinovac, AstraZeneca vaccines

India’s Bharat Biotech to supply coronavirus vaccine to Brazilian distributor

Coronavirus: Brazil researchers report modest 50.4 pct efficacy for China’s CoronaVac​​​​​​​