• Murhaf Radi, Europe Editor

Brazil approves two Covid-19 vaccines, kicking off long-delayed inoculation campaign

Brazil’s health regulator gave emergency approval Sunday for two coronavirus vaccines, kicking off a mass inoculation campaign amid a devastating second epidemic wave killing over 1,000 people in the vast South American nation daily.

Monica Calazans, a 54-year-old nurse in Sao Paulo became the first person in Brazil to receive the Chinese CoronaVac jab after the Anvisa watchdog’s highly-anticipated ruling.

Anvisa also approved AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s Covishield shot for use in the nation whose Covid-19 death toll now exceeds 209,000 — surpassed only by the United States.

Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello announced the government would start distributing vaccines to all 27 states on Monday for a national inoculation campaign to start Wednesday.

As Anvisa met in the capital Brasilia, activists gathered outside to inflate a larger-than-life effigy of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, his hands dripping with metaphorical blood.

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