While the Health Ministry has been distributing pediatric vaccines, the far-right President Bolsonaro refused to make vaccination mandatory in schools.
On Friday, Sao Paulo, the most populous state in Brazil, launched a COVID-19 vaccination campaign for children between 5 and 11 years old.
"It's a historic moment for Brazil," said Governor Joao Doria, who was wearing a black t-shirt with the legend "vaccine now," which is the slogan of the campaign that seeks to counteract the anti-vaccine attitude promoted by President Jair Bolsonaro, who he will face Lula da Silva, the Workers' Party leader, in the upcoming October presidential elections.
The first child to receive the vaccine in Brazil was Davi Seremramiwe, an 8-year-old indigenous boy who was receiving medical treatment in Sao Paulo due to his limited mobility.
His father, Jurandir Siridiwe, an Indigenous chief who followed the act virtually from the Mato Grosso state, was very happy his son was the first to be vaccinated.
The tweet reads, “Bolsonaro continues to treat COVID-19 with negligence. Only a psychopath like Jim Jones would be able to repeat Bolsonaro's madness during the pandemic," Lula Da Silva.
This symbolic act is prior to the start of mass childhood vaccination on Monday. Although the Health Ministry has been distributing pediatric vaccines, the far-right President Bolsonaro refused to make vaccination mandatory in schools.
In the Sao Paolo state, there are about 4.3 million children between 5 and 11 years old. Local authorities hope to vaccinate them in a few weeks, although they have also warned that the Federal government has not sent enough doses so far.
So far, the countries with the highest number of confirmed COVID-infections are the United States (65.2 million), India (36.5 million), and Brazil (22.8 million).