Brazil to offer Covid-19 vaccine to all citizens at no cost

PRETORIA – Brazil’s government will offer its own Covid-19 vaccines to all Brazilians free of charge once health regulator Anvisa gives it scientific and legal approval, President Jair Bolsonaro posted on Twitter on Tuesday.

Bolsonaro also said the economy ministry has assured him that there will be no shortage of resources to administer a vaccine to everyone who wants one.

“Once certified by @anvisa_oficial (scientific guidelines and legal precepts), @govbr will offer the vaccine to all, free of charge and not mandatory,” he tweeted.

The country’s minister of health, Eduardo Pazuello said that the first batches of AstraZeneca’s shot should begin to arrive in January or February.

According to figures on real-time data portal Worldometer, Brazil has the world’s third highest Covid-19 case count at more than 6.6 million, and the second heaviest death toll of more than 177 000.

Meanwhile, Aljazeera reported that Sao Paulo, the capital of Brazil, will start vaccinating its 46 million residents on January 25 with CoronaVac.

In a story on it’s website, the broadcaster reported that governor Joao Doria, said shots of the Chinese developed CoronaVac will first be given to healthcare professionals, people over 60 years old and the indigenous population.

The broadcaster said that the local government closed an agreement with China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. to import ready-made vaccines and produce more locally in partnership with Instituto Butantan.

“Sao Paulo will make 4 million doses of the shot available to other states as well,” Doria was quoted saying.

He added that eight local governments have already reached out to asked about the vaccine.

“Residents of other states will be permitted to travel to Sao Paulo to get vaccinated.

“The shots will be given out by the public health system, known as SUS, and Butantan can sell the vaccine to private hospitals and entities,” Doria was quoted saying.

– African News Agency (ANA); Edited by Naomi Mackay