Brazil’s Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) has given the green light to the AstraZeneca/Oxford University and Chinese-made Sinovac Coronavirus vaccines, paving the way for the Latin American country to kickstart the immunisation programme.

Shortly after the unanimous vote to authorise the emergency use of the vaccines, a 54-year-old nurse from Sao Paolo, Monica Calazans became the first person to get the CoronaVac jab.

The country’s President, Jair Bolsonaro has faced acute criticism over his handling of the pandemic, as he has been playing down the virus from the beginning, and although he caught Coronavirus, he has stated he will not take the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Sao Paulo Governor and Bolsonaro’s potential political rival in the 2022 presidential elections, Joao Doria hailed the vaccination, saying marks a “historical day” for Brazilian science.

“Science’s victory. Victory of life. Victory in Brazil,” Doria wrote in a Twitter post. 

Brazil is one of the countries worst-hit by the Coronavirus pandemic, reporting the second-highest death toll from COVID-19 worldwide, after the US. The country has so far recorded almost 8.5 million Coronavirus cases and over 200,000 deaths. 



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