Up to a quarter of Brazilians may not take COVID-19 vaccine – newspaper

FILE PHOTO: A nurse holds China’s Sinovac vaccine, a potential vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the Sao Lucas Hospital of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), in Porto Alegre, Brazil August 8, 2020. REUTERS/Diego Vara/File Photo

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Five percent of Brazilians would refuse under any circumstances to take a vaccine against coronavirus and a further 20% indicated they might not take it, according to a survey published in newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo on Sunday.

The reasons given by those wary of taking a vaccine included doubts over its safety and effectiveness, and unfounded conspiracy theories such as fears over genetic manipulation, having a chip implanted by taking it, and that it is made with aborted fetuses.

The Ibope poll for non-governmental organization Avaaz surveyed 1,000 people across the country, the paper said.

Of those who expressed a reluctance to take a vaccine, 34% were in the 25-34 year-old age range, and 36% were evangelical Christians. The poll showed that 75% of Brazilians will take a vaccine when one becomes available.

The survey comes after right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, who has consistently downplayed the severity of the coronavirus outbreak, reiterated last week that COVID-19 vaccinations will not be obligatory when they become available.

Brazil has the second highest number of coronavirus cases and related deaths in the world, with these tallies currently standing at 4.1 million and 126,203, respectively.

Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Writing by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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