Brazilian President Says He Won’t Get Coronavirus Vaccine
President Jair Bolsonaro says 'It is my right'
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who recovered from the COVID-19 earlier this year, announced he would not be taking the coronavirus vaccine.
Bolsonaro said any vaccine approved by his country's health agency would be free and publicly available, according to AP.
Bolsonaro was diagnosed with the coronavirus in July.
“I tell you; I will not take (any vaccine)," he said.
"It is my right, and I am sure that Congress will not create difficulties for whoever doesn’t want to take a vaccine,” Bolsonaro added.
“If it is effective, lasting, reliable, whoever doesn’t take it will be doing harm only to himself, and who takes the vaccine will not be infected."
"There’s nothing to worry about,” Bolsonaro said, according to the AP.
Bolsonaro echoed Trump's claims that the pandemic’s effects won’t be as damaging as a lockdown.
Bolsonaro has expressed doubt about the effectiveness of masks in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
“The matter of the masks, there will be a serious study sometime to talk about the effectiveness of the mask,” Bolsonaro said, according to the AP.
“It is the last taboo to fall.”
The country’s federal government will receive up to 100 million of the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine if proven effective.
Health experts blasted Bolsonaro, arguing his remarks could undermine attempts to reach necessary vaccination levels to stop the virus.
The news comes as President Donald Trump revealed that the U.S. military would begin distributing COVID-19 vaccines as early as next week.
The president said that healthcare workers and at-risk populations would get the drug first.
Trump made the announcement during a Thanksgiving Day call with U.S. troops as he thanked the brave men and women of America's military.
So far, at least three coronavirus vaccines show remarkable efficacy.
Trump said distribution would begin soon with frontline workers and high-risk populations.
"We are rounding the curb," he said on a video call with troops stationed overseas.
"The vaccines are being delivered literally starting next week and week after, and the frontline workers and seniors and doctors, nurses, a lot of people going to start getting."