Brazilian President Jairie Bolsonaru has confirmed that he will not be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Bolsonaru had previously said he would be the “last Brazilian” to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Although Bolsonaru became infected with the new coronavirus last year, he has downplayed its severity and earned criticism with his pandemic management.
“I have decided not to get vaccinated. I am waiting for new research, I already have the highest level of immunization, why should I get vaccinated?” The 66-year-old president said in an interview with radio station Jovem Pan.
“It would be the same as participating in a lottery with 10 reals to win two. It doesn’t make sense.”
Bolsonaru has repeatedly claimed since being infected in July 2020 that he has been tested with high levels of antibodies, so he doesn’t need to be vaccinated, although experts question it.
Bolsonaru is also strongly opposed to Covid-19 passports, which are issued to vaccinees and are required in some Brazilian cities to visit certain public places.
“For me, freedom is more important than anything else. If a citizen does not want to be vaccinated, that is his right,” Bolsonaru said in an interview.
Of Brazil’s 213 million population, nearly 100 million have been completely vaccinated against Covid-19, and another 50 million have received a single dose of the vaccine.
The number of Covid-19-related deaths in Brazil exceeded 600,000 last week. The country ranks second in the world after the United States in this respect.