AFP, RIO DE JANEIRO
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Sunday faced criticism over his government’s plan — or lack thereof, opponents said — to vaccinate people against COVID-19 in the nation, which has the second-highest death toll worldwide.
Brazil on Saturday published its vaccination plan with notable holes, including a start date and details of how to reach its target of 70 percent of the population.
That prompted a new salvo of criticism of the far-right president, who has persistently defied expert advice on containing the COVID-19 pandemic and said that he did not plan to be vaccinated.
“Enough shenanigans with the vaccine!” leading newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo said in a front-page editorial. “President Jair Bolsonaro’s murderous stupidity in the face of the coronavirus pandemic has surpassed all limits.”
Rival daily Estado de Sao Paulo condemned the government’s “lethal incompetence.”
The plan, which the Brazilian Supreme Court required the government to present, gives a rough sketch of the target populations and vaccines to be used in the initial immunization drive.
It envisions four phases targeting sensitive groups, including health workers, elderly people, indigenous Brazilians and teachers, for a total of 51.6 million people, or 24 percent of the population of 212 million.
The plan says the optimal target is to vaccinate more than 70 percent of the population, but provides no details on how to reach that figure.
Experts said details on the timeline, logistics and sources of vaccines were also lacking.
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