“Vaccine for all.” Thousands of people marched Saturday, January 23 in several Brazilian cities to protest the delay in the vaccination campaign against Covid-19 in Brazil. Some protesters have called for the impeachment of President Jair Bolsonaro for his management of the pandemic.
At the call of left-wing parties and organizations, a noisy procession of some 500 vehicles marched through the main avenues of the economic capital Brasilia, displaying slogans such as “Bolsonaro outside”, or “Impeachment yes”. Demonstrators also protested against the end of emergency aid granted from April to the end of December to 68 million Brazilians, or nearly a third of the population.
Similar demonstrations were held in several other cities of the country, notably in Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo. The far-right president has repeatedly downplayed the severity of Covid-19, which he first described as a “little flu”. He also questioned the use of masks, the effectiveness of vaccines and recommended “early treatment” with drugs whose effectiveness has not been proven.
He also criticized the containment measures taken by the governors of Brazilian states highlighting the only negative effects on the economy. His government is the target of severe criticism for its management of the health crisis and for the delay in vaccination, which began this week with many hiccups: lack of doses and even syringes.
A poll published on Friday by the Datafolha institute revealed a sharp drop in the popularity of Jair Bolsonaro, now supported by 31% of the population, against 37% in the last polls in August and December. The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic kills more than a thousand a day in Brazil. The country of 212 million people deplores more than 215,000 deaths.