Covid-19 vaccine could turn people into a crocodile, women can grow a beard, says Brazilian President Bolsonaro

Brazil is proud of the world’s top vaccination specialists, medical centers, and vaccine research, but President Jair Bolsonaro’s government has been accused of having a chaotic plan to defend against Covid -19. At the same time, Bolsonaro mocked the Coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer claiming that it could have side effects such as turning men into ‘crocodiles’ and women developing a beard.

Bolsonaro finally launched a major vaccination campaign Wednesday that aims to vaccinate 70 percent of the population within 16 months, but the president is accused of undermining his own program that -rithist.

On Thursday it released 20 billion reais ($ 3.9 billion) to buy vaccine doses in a country that has lost more than 184,000 people to the coronavirus – the second highest national population in the world.

Later in the day, the government announced that daily deaths had risen above 1,000 for the first time since September.

Read | Brazil sees more than 1,000 one-day Covid-19 deaths; SC opens door to mandatory vaccinations

Analysts say the country took too long to put together a vaccine plan, did not have a detailed start date, and does not have a clear vaccine purchase and circulation strategy.

Bolsonaro, who caught the virus in July and once said it was “slightly cold,” said he would not get an injection himself.

And he mocked the possible side effects of the type of vaccine developed by US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and the German biotechnology company BioNTech, which has already been released in the US and Britain.

“In Pfizer’s contract it is very clear: ‘we are not responsible for any side effects.’ If you turn into a crocodile, it ‘s your problem, “Bolsonaro said Thursday.

“If you grow too tall, if a woman starts growing a beard or if a man starts talking with an effeminate voice, they will have nothing to do with it,” he said, referring to drug manufacturers.

It seems to be having an effect: according to an opinion poll by Datafolha, the number of people willing to get the Covid-19 vaccine fell from 89 per cent in August to 73 per cent in December.

Worldometer Coronavirus | 15 countries with the highest number of cases, deaths due to Covid-19 pandemic

Bolsonaro said the vaccination would not be compulsory, but the Supreme Court opposed it – adding that no-one could “force” it.

The government is negotiating the purchase of 350 million doses of coronavirus vaccines for 2021.

The figure includes 210 million of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine that is largely manufactured in Brazil by the Fiocruz institute, 70 million of the Pfizer vaccine, and another 42 million of the man who made the international conglomerate Covaz.

However, none of these, or the CoronaVac made by the Chinese laboratory Sinovac, which is being tested in Sao Paulo, has yet to apply to the Anvisa regulatory body for emergency use permission – which they need before they can start vaccination.

“Bolsonaro has lost a lot of time with his denials, with his political battles with state governors over quarantine measures, with his campaign against the vaccine and it is mandatory,” said Jose David Urbaez, from Brazilian Disease Society Brazil. AFP.

“To start a program like this you have to have been negotiating with the pharmaceutical companies for a long time” and arranged for the purchase of syringes, the cold series, and the human resources required, he said.

For Luiz Gustavo de Almeida, a microbiologist at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, “missed the first train” of Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines delivered to the US.

“They will have to wait for the second train when the government finally gets the chance to get vaccines and that will not be until March, April or May 2021. Those who are not in the priorities may not start getting them until 2022. “

The government says it plans to vaccinate the most at-risk groups in four months – once it has been approved for vaccination.

Bolsonaro has also been included in a public spat about vaccinations with Sao Paulo state governor Joao Doria, who is expected to challenge him in the 2022 presidential election.

Doria has been pushing to start giving the vaccine to her state since January 25 with CoronaVac, which has started being made locally by the Butantan Sao Paulo Institute.

Bolsonaro, however, has been trying to disparage the “Chinese Doria vaccine” even though his government is about to buy millions of doses of CoronaVac.

“Traditionally in Brazil infectious diseases have always been centrally managed and coordinated, with good results,” Urbaez said.

“The national plan will only work when everyone, federal and state governments agree … Every step back will cost us weeks of vaccination.”

For the latest updates and live news on coronavirus, click here