The vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 against COVID-19 in Brazil began Friday, in Sao Paulo, a month after it was approved by health authorities despite criticism from President Jair Bolsonaro.< /strong>
Davi Seremramiwe Xavante, an eight-year-old indigenous boy, was the first Brazilian child to be vaccinated, in an official ceremony at the Sao Paulo Clinics Hospital.
This ceremony took place in the presence of Joao Doria, center-right governor of the state of Sao Paulo, a fierce opponent of Jair Bolsonaro and also a presidential candidate in October.
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 17 January 2021.
Mass vaccination of 5-11 year olds will begin next week nationwide. More than 20 million children could be immunized, with doses of pediatric vaccine from the American laboratory Pfizer-BioNtech, and subject to parental authorization.
Children with comorbidities and populations considered as more vulnerable, such as natives, are given priority.
This vaccine campaign begins a month after the green light from the health surveillance agency Anvisa.
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.
An association of Anvisa officials denounced “fascist methods” and the agency's director demanded 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.
< p>The number of COVID-19 contaminations has exploded in Brazil since the appearance of the Omicron variant, with 97,986 cases recorded in just 24 hours on Thursday, compared to 5,844 two weeks ago.