Brazil’s vaccination campaign is off to a slow start and may face even more delays because of government inaction and far-right rhetoric, imperilling the country’s most vulnerable group – its 800,000 Indigenous people.
President Jair Bolsonaro, his family and members of his government have regularly blamed China for the pandemic and questioned the efficacy of the vaccine CoronaVac, developed by China’s Sinovac and one of just two vaccines that Brazil has approved for emergency use. (The other is Oxford-AstraZeneca’s product.) The anti-China stand has made it difficult to get supplies, even as Brazil ranks third in COVID-19 cases globally and second in deaths, behind the United States.
Indigenous people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and have struggled to protect themselves and treat infected members of their communities. Caetano Scannavino, who co-ordinates the NGO Projeto Saude & Alegria (Project Health and Joy) in the Amazon region, said “COVID is a challenge all over the world, and in the Amazon would be no different.”
Full article at The Globe and Mail’s page. Date of publication: 25/01/2021.