Brazil’s Bolsonaro Knocks Vaccinating Children
BRASILIA, Reuters – Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro criticized Anvisa, Brazil’s health regulator, for authorizing vaccination of children 5-11 years old against COVID-19 on Thursday. This came just a few days after his health minister revealed plans to inoculate the age group.
Bolsonaro, a vaccine skeptic, stated in a radio interview that it was the first time he had heard of children suffering from COVID-19. Bolsonaro also stated that his 11-year-old daughter Laura would not be vaccinated.
Bolsonaro suggested that vaccines might cause harm to children, but he did not provide evidence to support it. Anvisa and health officials around the world have found that COVID-19 vaccinations are safe starting at age 5 and beyond.
“Are you planning to vaccine your child when the chance of death is virtually nonexistent? What’s the reasoning behind this? What are the motives behind the vaccination maniacs? Bolsonaro stated.
The Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday that it had bought 20 million vaccines for children developed by Pfizer Inc and voluntary vaccination of children 5 to 11 years old will begin by the end of the month.
Anvisa approved the Pfizer vaccine to children Dec. 16 and has drawn criticism from those opposed to vaccines and the president. He advised that children should only be vaccinated if their doctor has approved the vaccine.
The ministry found the idea impractical. Requiring a written prescription would prevent vaccination at a point when the more transmissible coronavirus variant Omicron is beginning to spread throughout Brazil health experts have said at an open hearing.
According to the national council of state health secretaries at least 300 children aged 5 to 11 had passed away in Brazil from COVID-19 as of the start of December.
Brazil’s Army differed from the president on how to tackle COVID-19.
It ordered soldiers to get vaccines, wear masks and maintain social distance and warned them against spreading false news about the pandemic.