The Brazilian government says it will start offering COVID-19 vaccines to athletes, coaches and others participating in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Health Minister Marcello Ciroga told a press conference on Tuesday that Brazil will receive 4,050 doses of Pfizer shot and Chinese medicine company Synovac will receive Rs 8,000.
“Due to a strategic issue we will use Pfizer (to vaccinate) because it is a shot that is already approved in all countries and will not cause any hindrance for our athletes,” Cueroga told MPs. “The short duration between the first and second doses, which should be quickly immunized to athletes.”
Curioga estimates that 1,814 people will be vaccinated on their way to Japan, with any remaining portion being given to the public health system.
The athlete immunization program will begin on Wednesday and will be held in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza. It follows similar measures being taken by countries including the United States, Britain and Australia.
Brazil’s vaccination rollout has slowed, and people 60 and older are targeted. President Jair Bolsonaro has refused to take any vaccines and is under investigation by his administration in a Senate investigation to deal with the epidemic.
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