By Seun Adeuyi
President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro has said he will not take a vaccine against COVID-19.
This is coming after he received approval from his own government.
In a video posted to social media on Thursday, Bolsonaro said “I’m telling you, I won’t take it (the vaccine). It is my right.”
According to an AFP tally, the south American country has recorded over 170,000 coronavirus deaths, behind only the United States (US).
The president faces criticism for his handling of the pandemic, which has included opposing lockdown measures and relentlessly promoting the drug hydroxychloroquine despite studies showing it is ineffective against Covid-19.
Bolsonaro tested positive to Covid-19 himself at the beginning of July, and more than half of his cabinet have caught the virus in recent months.
In the video, he said once any treatment is approved by Brazil’s health regulatory authorities, his government will “immediately organize” its purchase and distribution to those who want it, adding that he was “sure” that Brazil’s parliament would not make immunisation mandatory.
A number of nations are pinning their hopes on a vaccine to end the pandemic, after showing about 95 percent efficacy in trials.
US-based pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, on Wednesday, gave the results of the tests of their candidate to the office of Brazil’s health regulators, a necessary step to approve and register the vaccine.