Brazilian Supreme Court Rules Anti-Vaxxers Will Be Banned From Public Spaces
The Brazilian Supreme Court has ruled that anyone who refuses to be vaccinated against COVID-19 could face being banned from public services and places.
10 out of the 11 justices that make up the court agreed that all Brazilians should be vaccinated, despite President Jair Bolsonaro proclaiming he will not be vaccinated and no one else should be forced to.
Bolsonaro has promised to make all of the COVID-19 vaccinations available to citizens living in Brazil, however he has also publicly spoken out against having it, discouraging many others from doing so in the process.
However, a statement put out by the government following the ruling suggests that anyone who refuses to be vaccinated could face having certain rights revoked, such as welfare payments, public school enrolment or even entry to certain public spaces.
One of the judges who voted in favour of the measures, Justice Ricardo Lewaandowski, said that while forcing members of the public to be vaccinated without consent was ‘flagrantly unconstitutional’, ‘the collective health cannot be harmed by those who deliberately refuse to be vaccinated,’ according to G1, via WA Today.
A number of vaccinations against potentially fatal illnesses such as measles and meningitis are already mandatory for children living in Brazil, and the Supreme Court has already dismissed a case from parents requesting to opt out of the vaccinations on religious grounds.
Following on from the ruling, Bolsonaro said: ‘Nobody can force anybody to take the vaccine. We’re dealing with lives, where is our freedom?’
So far, more than 184,000 Brazilians have lost their lives to coronavirus, with more than 7.1 million cases recorded in the South American country since the pandemic began. As many as 1,000 Brazilians are reported to have died on Thursday, December 17, when the Supreme Court’s ruling was announced.
On Wednesday, the country’s health minister Eduardo Pazuello announced plans to roll out the vaccine in four different phases, based on priority groups, despite none of the vaccines being officially authorised yet.
Meanwhile, it seems as though the government might have a big job on its hands trying to get people through the doors to be vaccinated, with just 73% of the population saying it’s open to being vaccinated. This is down from 89% who said they would be willingly vaccinated back in August.
According to a Datafolha survey, 22% of people in Brazil are firmly against being vaccinated, up from 9%.
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