Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will not be vaccinated against Covid-19. But he stresses that the vaccines will be distributed and administered immediately when available.
Bolsonaro said on social media that it is his right to refrain from vaccination. The country has now ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine from the laboratories of AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
Conservative Bolsonaro convincingly won the presidential election in October 2018. He has been harshly criticized this year for his approach to the coronavirus. Bolsonaro calls the virus a kind of flu.
He believes the danger is exaggerated and that strict corona measures do more harm than good. He has infected himself in July and is accused of reacting too laxly to the virus.
However, Bolsonaro is gaining popularity, according to recent opinion polls, partly thanks to supporting measures from his government. Most Brazilians do not have a permanent job and cannot work or stay at home.
More than 6 million of the 210 million Brazilians have so far been diagnosed with the virus, including many members of the government. About 5.5 million patients have recovered or had no complaints. The virus has killed more than 170,000 people, according to authorities.