SAO PAULO (AP) – Protesters have gathered in Brazil’s two biggest cities to demonstrate against any mandate for the taking of a coronavirus vaccine, supporting a rejection campaign encouraged by President Jair Bolsonaro in opposition to the advice of most health professionals.
A small group of people assembled in downtown Sao Paulo on Sunday calling for the removal of Sao Paulo state Gov. Joao Doria, who has said state residents will be required to take a vaccine, likely the one being developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac and the local Butantan Institute. Demonstrators supporting Bolsonaro on the question also protested on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.
The issue has become a talking point in mayoral and city council campaigns for elections later this month.
Brazil has reported more than 5.5 million confirmed cases of coronavirus infections, and about 160,000 people have died from COVID-19, the disease that can be caused by the virus.