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Brazil’s supreme court rules Covid-19 vaccination can be made mandatory

Around one-fifth of Brazilians say they will not get inoculated against the virus.

BRAZIL’S SUPREME COURT has ruled that coronavirus vaccination can be made mandatory, in a blow to the country’s nascent anti-vaccine movement.

But the court also ruled Brazilians may not be vaccinated against their will.

A court statement says Thursday’s ruling paves the way for state and municipal governments to approve laws imposing fines or restrictive measures for anyone refusing to take a vaccine.

President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly said he will not take any vaccine and opposes mandatory immunisation. He has also sown scepticism about potential side effects.

He has also discredited the CoronaVac vaccine produced by Chinese laboratory Sinovac, which is produced locally by the Butantan Institute with support from Sao Paulo state governor Joao Doria, who is expected to challenge him for the presidency in 2022.

Opinion polls have indicated a growing resistance to vaccination, with about one-fifth of Brazilians surveyed by pollster Datafolha this month saying they do not intend to get inoculated against Covid-19.

Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa has yet to approve any shot for mass immunisation.

It comes after the country reported 1,092 new fatalities over the past 24 hours, taking Brazil’s death toll to almost 185,000 – a number surpassed only by the United States.

Brazil country also registered almost 70,000 new infections, bringing its total to more than 7.1 million cases.

With reporting from © AFP 2020

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