Brazil once vaccinated 10 million people for polio in a day. What went wrong with COVID-19?
In a country known for past public health planning, coronavirus cases are still rising while immunizations lag—and now young people are getting hit the hardest.
With deaths surpassing 378,000 and COVID-19 cases continuing to rise throughout Brazil, experts say vaccinating the country’s population of more than 200 million should be the top priority.
Praised worldwide for its National Immunization Program, Brazil was expected to have an edge in protecting its population against the coronavirus. Previous vaccination campaigns in the country—some vaccinating millions in just one day—have gone off without a hitch and serve as prime examples of tight immunization logistics. But erratic planning, a virus-denying president, and a vocal anti-vaccine movement have set the country up for failure as it faces wave after wave of coronavirus infections.
Brazil’s death toll is now second only to the United States. According to Our World in Data, it’s