Corona pandemic: Brazil is vaccinated

Status: 02.09.2021 12:52

While the vaccine remains unused in Germany, there is hardly any skepticism against the corona vaccination in Brazil. In São Paulo, 99 percent of adults are vaccinated with at least one dose.

By Matthias Ebert, ARD Studio Rio de Janeiro

When asked whether she was vaccinated, Teresa Rodrigues only reacted with a smile. “Ah, for a long time,” says the 85-year-old from São Paulo, who lives with her husband in a tiny house. She has never had any concerns, she explains. Teresa has been suffering from the effects of a tuberculosis infection that affects her lungs for years. Her daughter and other relatives also came into contact with the contagious bacterium years ago and are still suffering from the consequences today.

The protracted exposure to tuberculosis infection is one reason why Teresa – like most of her compatriots – does not doubt the sense of tried and tested vaccinations. Overall, there appears to be significantly fewer vaccine skeptics in Brazil than in Germany. While vaccination doses remain in Europe, Brazil is announcing vaccination records that Germany can only dream of: In São Paulo, 99 percent of adults were recently vaccinated with at least one dose.

The vaccines from BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Sinovac from China are coveted substances in this country, instead of being often unused in doctors’ offices, as in Germany. On some days, more than three million doses are vaccinated in Brazil.

Drive through, get vaccinated – and then continue into the night: In front of a drive-thru center for vaccinations in Sao Paulo, after the start of the vaccination campaign for under 21-year-olds, cars start up.


Success in basic services

One reason for the high willingness to vaccinate is the trust the Brazilians have in their public health system, SUS. Even if many Brazilians usually have to wait a long time for operations, the SUS has at least been able to celebrate successes in the past with basic care and vaccination campaigns: in 2010 – in the fight against swine flu – Brazil was celebrated internationally as a role model because it was successful in a few Months to vaccinate a large part of the population. Even with yellow fever, flu and numerous tropical diseases, Brazil vaccinates quickly and easily, says Teresa Rodrigues. On the other hand, tourists come to Brazil time and again who die from a yellow fever infection without a vaccination.

Teresa and her husband made a living – badly than right – for decades from recycling cans, metal and glass. They tend to place less trust in the state social security systems. Advancement through education is also difficult to achieve because public schools are chronically underfunded. Those who can afford it send their child to one of the many private schools, as only these promise a realistic chance of one of the coveted study places and thus of social advancement.

Narrow affects vaccination readiness

The state vaccination campaigns, on the other hand, give all citizens equal access to life-saving vaccines. It is hardly surprising that almost 100 percent of adults in São Paulo are now vaccinated with at least the first dose: In the mega-metropolis, millions of people huddle closely together for hours on buses and trains to get to work. The commuters who rely on public transport therefore do not have to be asked twice if vaccines significantly reduce the corona risk.

Many supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro, who had often made himself contemptuous of vaccines, also prefer the quick spades in the shoulder. The luxury of doubting the vaccination and refusing it is obviously much less enjoyed by Brazilians than Germans.

Waiting for the second dose

“We are generally afraid of viruses,” says 22-year-old Felipe Neto, who queues outside an SUS vaccination center in São Paulo to receive his first dose. Unlike in Germany, however, there is a large gap in Brazil between the first and second vaccination. This is also because there are still not enough vaccines available. For example, there are still millions of BioNTech / Pfizer doses missing. Brazil ordered its vaccine relatively late and is now waiting for the rest of the deliveries.

In order to find a long-term remedy, the state of São Paulo wants to be a pioneer here too. That is why an agreement has just been signed so that the BioNTech active ingredient can be produced in Brazil from 2022. It would be the third vaccine that would be produced in the largest country in South America in order to be able to implement the annual Corona booster vaccination campaign. One can assume that the Brazilians will then again decide by a large majority for the spades in the shoulder.


September 2nd, 2021 • 8:47 pm

19:52 from Wielstadt

In HH there are considerations for theater / miniature wonderland to offer a daily change between 2G and 3G admission. I think that would be a great compromise – those who feel safer with it can choose 2G and the others are not completely excluded. The question, however, would be whether some of the vaccinated would not feel more comfortable if they could continue to keep their distance.

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