The vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 against Covid-19 in Brazil began on Friday in Sao Paulo, a month after it was approved by health authorities despite criticism from President Jair Bolsonaro.
Davi Seremramiwe Xavante, an eight-year-old indigenous boy, was the first Brazilian child to be vaccinated, during an official ceremony at the Hospital of Clinics in Sao Paulo.
This ceremony took place in the presence of João Doria, center-right governor of the state of Sao Paulo, fierce opponent of Jair Bolsonaro and presidential candidate for October too. It was already in Sao Paulo, the largest metropolis in Brazil, with 12 million inhabitants, that the very first injection of a dose of anti-Covid vaccine in Brazil had taken place, to a 54-year-old black nurse, on January 17, 2021.
Mass vaccination of 5-11 year olds will begin next week across the country.
More than 20 million children will be able to be immunized, with doses of pediatric vaccine from the American laboratory Pfizer-BioNtech, and subject to parental authorization.
Children with comorbidities and populations considered more vulnerable, such as indigenous people, are prioritized.
This vaccination campaign begins a month after the green light from the health surveillance agency Anvisa.
The number of Covid cases explodes with Omicron
Since then, President Bolsonaro has continued to criticize this decision, assuring that he would never vaccinate his 11-year-old daughter Laura.
Himself unvaccinated, the Head of State notably sparked a great controversy by asking to publish the list of those responsible for approving the immunization of children.
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An association of Anvisa officials denounced "fascist methods" and the director of the agency asked for police protection for his staff, after the proliferation of threats.
According to official data from the Ministry of Health, more than 300 children aged 5 to 11 have died of Covid-19 in Brazil, which deplores a total of more than 620,000 deaths, the second worst toll after the United States.
At least 68% of Brazilians have received two doses of the vaccine since the start of the vaccination campaign a year ago.
The number of Covid contaminations has exploded in Brazil since the appearance of the Omicron variant, with 97,986 cases recorded in just 24 hours on Thursday, against 5,844 two weeks ago.