(Brasilia) Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has announced that he will ultimately not be vaccinated against COVID-19, after claiming for months that he would be “the last Brazilian” to be immune.
“I decided not to get vaccinated anymore. I have seen new studies and my immunity is at its highest, why would I need the vaccine? “Asked the far-right president in an interview Tuesday evening on radio Jovem Pan, without specifying which studies he was referring to.
“It would be like betting ten reais in the lottery to win two, it makes no sense,” insisted the head of state, who had said in the past in an ironic tone that Pfizer’s vaccine could “transform ( people) in crocodile ”because of possible side effects.
Since he was infected with the virus with mild symptoms, in July 2020, Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly claimed that he has a sufficient level of antibodies to exempt him from vaccination, a thesis refuted by the epidemiologists.
Heavily criticized for his management of the health crisis, in a country which has just crossed the threshold of 600,000 deaths, Jair Bolsonaro is viscerally opposed to the health passport required by several large Brazilian cities to access certain public places.
“For me, freedom is above everything. If a citizen does not want to be vaccinated, it is his right, period ”, summarized the president.
More than 71% of the 213 million Brazilians have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 45% have been fully immunized.
The fact that Jair Bolsonaro refuses to be vaccinated has drawn much criticism abroad, especially during his trip to New York last month on the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly.
He was notably photographed eating a pizza standing in a New York street, a joke attributed by the Brazilian press to the fact that no restaurant could have received him for lack of a health passport.