Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has said he won’t approve a Covid-19 vaccine for the public until after the country’s health surveillance agency (ANVISA) gives a second opinion.
Speaking in his weekly Facebook live video on Thursday -- just hours after Brazil’s health ministry announced the country had surpassed 4 million Covid-19 cases -- Bolsonaro said vaccines developed in the United States, the European Union, Japan and China, while “scientifically proven in these other countries,” would require further examination to be used for immunizations in Brazil.
On Monday, Bolsonaro was recorded on cell phone video telling a supporter he wouldn’t make a Covid-19 vaccine mandatory in Brazil.
Brazil’s health ministry followed up Wednesday, confirming that no one would be forced to receive the vaccine. Bolsonaro repeated that pledge in Thursday’s broadcast, drawing support from the country’s anti-vaxxer community.
“We cannot be irresponsible when putting a vaccine into people's bodies,” Bolsonaro said. “Nobody can force anyone to get a vaccine.”