‘Vaccine Sommeliers’ Go to the End of the Line in One Brazilian Town
(Bloomberg) -- A Brazilian town is taking action against people who are pick and choosing which Covid-19 vaccine they want to take, a move that’s delaying a mass immunization campaign in one of the hardest-hit countries in the world.
Sao Bernardo do Campo, a city of about 850,000 people in the outskirts of Sao Paulo, said the so-called “vaccine sommeliers” will be sent to the end of the line if they decline the shot that is available.
The announcement, made by Mayor Orlando Morando on social media on Wednesday night, comes after some 300 people arrived at vaccine posts this week -- appointments are mandatory in Sao Bernardo -- and refused the shots that were at hand.
So from today, those who turn down the vaccine being offered will have to sign a term of refusal, which will be stored in the healthcare system’s records. They’ll only be allowed back once everyone over the age of 18 gets one dose, which is expected to happen in September.
“No one has ever asked about vaccine brands before. Now, in the midst of humanity’s greatest pandemic, people want to pick?” the mayor said on the social media feed. “People shouldn’t be choosing between vaccines.”
Brazil has struggled to accelerate its vaccination campaign amid a persistent lack of shots. The country has given a first dose to about a third of the population, and fully vaccinated just 12%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The delivery of doses is expected to pick up in the second half, improving the outlook. But while the virus has receded in most of the world, Brazil is still recording some 2,000 daily Covid deaths, and has over 518,000 fatalities from the disease.
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