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Brazil launches its vaccination campaign

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The Brazilian regulator has approved the emergency use of two vaccines, the British AstraZeneca and the Chinese CoronaVac, the first two to obtain the green light in Brazil, where the pandemic has already killed almost 210,000. This authorization made it possible to launch the vaccination campaign in Brazil.

Brazil has recorded 33,040 new confirmed cases of coronavirus contamination in the past twenty-four hours and an additional 551 deaths linked to the epidemic, the Ministry of Health reported on Sunday (January 17), as began in the country the first vaccinations against Covid-19.

This is the first time in six days that the number of new deaths has fallen below 1,000, but the toll is still approaching 210,000, according to government data.

President Jair Bolsonaro, who has displayed his skepticism about the outbreak and refused to receive the vaccine, faces increasing pressure to order a nationwide vaccination campaign.

The drug regulatory authority, Anvisa, on Sunday authorized the emergency use of vaccines developed by Chinese Sinovac Biotech and Britain’s AstraZeneca.

A 54-year-old nurse from São Paulo was the first person vaccinated against Covid-19 in Brazil on Sunday. Monica Calazans, a nurse at Emilio Ribas hospital, received a first injection of the CoronaVac vaccine, during a ceremony in the presence of the governor of the state of São Paulo, Joao Doria, who poses as a rival to the Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro.

A national campaign officially launched on Wednesday

In the process, more than 100 people were vaccinated this Sunday in the same hospital, said the government of São Paulo. “A marketing coup,” responded the Brazilian government, which indicated that the national vaccination campaign will officially begin on Wednesday.

The Minister of Health, Eduardo Pazuello, declared that any initiative “outside” the program of the government “is in contradiction with the law”, because it “ignores the equality between the States and between all the Brazilians”.

He said the 6 million doses of the Chinese CoronaVac vaccine will begin to be distributed Monday among the 27 Brazilian states. Nursing staff, those over 75 and over 60 living in homes for the elderly as well as the indigenous population will be vaccinated as a priority.

The second authorized vaccine is the British AstraZeneca / Oxford, produced in Bombay by the Serum laboratory in partnership with the Fiocruz Foundation of the Brazilian Ministry of Health.

The Brazilian government hoped to finalize the importation of 2 million doses of the vaccine from India this weekend, but the Indian government, which started a massive campaign on Saturday, has not yet given the green light.

The situation is dire in Manaus in the Amazon, which on Friday began transferring patients to other states and is facing an oxygen shortage and overloading its hospitals.

Some scientists believe the situation is likely to have deteriorated due to the presence in the region of a variant of the coronavirus which could prove to be more contagious, such as those which have appeared in the United Kingdom or South Africa. .

With AFP and Reuters

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