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Brazil’s Bolsonaro says COVID-19 vaccinations will not be mandatory

Brazil last month signed an agreement with AstraZeneca to buy 30 million doses of the vaccine it is developing with Oxford University, with an option for 70 million more doses if the vaccine works.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro wearing a protective mask to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, attends the launching ceremony of a rights guarantee program for rural women, at the Planalto Presidential Palace in Brasilia, Brazil. (AP/File)

Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, who has consistently downplayed the severity of the coronavirus outbreak, reiterated on Thursday that COVID-19 vaccinations will not be obligatory when they become available.

“Many people want the vaccine to be applied in a coercive way, but there is no law that provides for that,” Bolsonaro said in a Facebook live chat with his supporters.Vice President Hamilton Mourão said earlier that mass vaccination was inevitable to fight the pandemic in Brazil, but was firmly in line with Bolsonaro’s stance.

“There is no way for the government – unless we live in a dictatorship – to force everyone to get vaccinated,”…


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