Wednesday, January 20, 2021

COVID vaccinations begin in Brazil’s hard-hit Amazonas state | Coronavirus pandemic News | Al Jazeera

COVID vaccinations begin in Brazil’s hard-hit Amazonas state

The Brazilian city of Manaus has begun administering vaccinations against COVID-19, providing some hope as the local health system is under severe strain amid a surge in infections and dwindling oxygen supplies.

The Amazonas state government on Tuesday started distributing vaccine doses to municipalities, where the priority in the first phase of inoculations will be health workers, elderly people above age 80 and Indigenous people in about 265 villages.

Governor Wilson Lima led a ceremony that kicked off the vaccination campaign on Monday night in Manaus, home to about 2.2 million people and the capital of Amazonas, which received 256,000 initial doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

Vanda Ortega, 33, a member of the Witoto ethnicity and a nurse technician, received the first dose of CoronaVac, the vaccine developed by Sinovac.

“I want to thank God and our ancestors,” said Ortega, who is also a volunteer nurse in her Indigenous community.

More Brazilian states administered their first COVID-19 inoculations on Tuesday, as the government distributed about six million ready doses of the vaccine from China’s Sinovac after its approval on Sunday for emergency use. The country also approved Britain’s AstraZeneca vaccine.

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