Photo by Mat Napo
Brazilian parents appear to want their children aged 5 – 11 to be vaccinated. Many parents have said, including one that has undergone the trauma of experiencing their child infected with the virus, that it would put their mind at ease.
According to information from the Ministry of Health, the deaths of at least 308 children aged from 5 to 11 have been caused by Covid-19 infections.
Marcelo Otsuka, a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist, said that Covid has ended the life of more children than meningitis and measles in the same length of time, only sweeping behind road accident-caused deaths.
Now that the extensive Covid-19 vaccination campaigns for children aged 5 – 11 is afoot, it offers a sigh of relief to many of Brazil’s parents. On Monday the deployment for these vaccines started, considering that in February schools are up for opening.
A national survey issued on Monday from the Datafolha Institute reported that 79% of respondents agree with children’s vaccination in that age range. The particular survey was performed from January 12 to 13 between 2,023 individuals aged 16 and up.
However, it looks like the vaccines aren’t coming as fast as need be for some parents. Some have been waiting for about a month to secure an appointment for their kids to take the shot.
The reason for these delays is none other than Brazil’s own leader, President Jair Bolsonaro. To top it all off, the president claims that he is unvaccinated himself.
The Brazilian commander-in-chief has been broadly denounced locally and overseas for underestimating the gravity of the virus. This includes dissuading everybody to get vaccinated, even though Brazil has seen one of the worst coronavirus outbursts in the world.
Now, another addition to the collection of criticism-worthy moves the leader had done: his opposition to child vaccination.
Bolsonaro called the choice of Anvisa, a regulatory agency in Brazil, to approve of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for children on December 16 “unbelievable.” Furthermore, Bolsonaro threatened to reveal the identity of the Anvisa staff behind the decision.
The identities were later revealed by a loyal Bolsonaro supporter and Congresswoman Bia Kicis, who also disapproved of child vaccination, on a Whatsapp group of Bolsonaro supporters.
Kicis defended herself by saying that she assumed this information was available in public during a trial on the matter in early January.
Opinions expressed by NY Weekly contributors are their own.