Brazil Surpasses the U.S. in Covid Vaccination Rate

The cultural adherence of Brazilians to the vaccination system and the capillarity of the Unified Health System (SUS) have boosted immunization

Bloomberg Línea — Brazil already has a higher percentage of people fully vaccinated against Covid-19 than the United States. The country, which was one of the epicenters of the pandemic over the last few months, now has 60% of its population fully vaccinated against the disease, according to data reported on Sunday, and advances in booster shots.

The cultural adherence of Brazilians to the vaccination system and the capillarity of the Unified Health System (SUS) facilitated immunization in the country, with health professionals assisting patients at home in cases of mobility issues and even using boats to reach places further away from big cities.

The lack of hesitation towards the vaccine among Brazilians is also an upside. The achievement, however, clashes with President Jair Bolsonaro’s stance, stating that he has not been vaccinated and does not encourage vaccination.

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Brazil surpassed the U.S. in percentage of people vaccinated with the first dose at the end of August, when about 63% of Brazilians had already received at least one dose, against 62% of Americans.

On Monday (15), the referral hospital for Covid treatment in Rio de Janeiro discharged the last patient admitted with the disease. The Ronaldo Gazolla Municipal Hospital, in Acari, north side of the city, had around 10,800 patients with the disease only in 2021, according to the newspaper O Globo.

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The mayor, Eduardo Paes, enacted the optional use of masks in outdoor spaces at the end of October, but maintained the obligation for closed and/or crowded environments. The city has also adhered to the vaccine passport since the end of September, which has been criticized by President Bolsonaro. To enter gyms, theaters, cinemas, and the main touristic landmarks in Rio, presentation of proof of vaccination against Covid is mandatory.

And so the immunization shows its effectiveness: on November 8, the state of São Paulo did not record any deaths caused by the virus. It was the first time that the number of deaths due to the disease was null since the beginning of the pandemic, in March 2020.