More than 4 million Brazilians have missed 2nd shot of vaccine

More than 4 million Brazilians have missed 2nd shot of vaccine
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Several million Brazilians have not gotten their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, challenging a country that has already registered the world's second-highest official highest death toll from the disease, The New York Times reported.

As of June 1, 4.1 million people in Brazil, or about 16 percent of those eligible, had not received their second vaccine for a variety of reasons.

One was because Brazil saw a delay in shipments of vaccine materials from China required to make the Sinovac-CoronaVac used in Brazil.

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Another reason is some Brazilians believe they only need one shot of the vaccine to be protected from COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO), however, has recommended that both doses of the vaccine should be taken.

“On the basis of available evidence, WHO recommends the vaccine for use in adults 18 years and older, in a two-dose schedule with a spacing of two to four weeks,” the WHO noted earlier this month.

 A study in Chile found that one dose of the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine was 36 percent effective at preventing hospitalizations. 

On June 19, Brazil passed a grim milestone of 500,000 deaths, second to the over 600,000 deaths that the U.S. has seen from the COVID-19. Earlier this month, The Associated Press reported that only 11 percent of Brazilians were fully vaccinated.

In response, the White House had announced on Wednesday that it would be delivering three million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to Brazil the following day.

The rise in deaths led anti-government protestors to take to the streets to protest President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the coronavirus. Last year, Bolsonaro had termed the coronavirus the “little flu” and resisted efforts to contain the disease, according to the Guardian. He was also fined twice for not adhering to masking guidelines.

According to the Guardian, Bolsonaro is being investigated into the country’s handling of the pandemic.