Why did the church protect rapists?  - 10/08/2021 - Hélio Schwartsman

The only point in which Brazil did well in the pandemic is the population’s willingness to be vaccinated. Considering only the first dose, our coverage has already surpassed that of countries that started immunization much earlier. Around here, 72% of the population has had their first injection. In Israel, it was 68%; in the US, 65%; in Germany, 68%. We are also achieving excellent coverage among the youngest (18 to 24 years), a cohort in which vaccine hesitation tends to be greater.

The long tradition of SUS in promoting universal and free immunization campaigns against the most varied diseases in various age groups certainly has something to do with the high confidence of Brazilians in vaccines. There was, however, a moment when we had reason to fear that the outcome would be different. Last December, Datafolha reported that 23% of Brazilians did not intend to be vaccinated against Covid-19. In May (most recent data), this number had dropped to 8%, the same registered in August of last year, which we can consider a kind of basal rate.

Why is December so off the curve? I have my hypothesis: it was between October and January that President Jair Bolsonaro intensified his attacks on vaccines. It is from this period that pearls sprouted such as “the Brazilian people will not be a guinea pig”, “if you take and become an alligator, it’s your problem”. It was also during this interstice that the president almost celebrated the death of a volunteer who participated in the Coronavac tests. It is worth remembering that the Bolsonaro who said these “defaecationes” (out of modesty, I use Latin) was not just any Bolsonaro, but the one who was at the height of his popularity, in part thanks to emergency aid of R$600.

If the hypothesis is correct, it can be concluded that the nonsense uttered by the first representative produces consequences. The upside is that as your government turns out to be the disaster it is, it’s less and less listened to.

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