With 2.7% of the world’s population, but 13% of COVID-19 deaths globally, Brazil continues to suffer a disproportional death rate
Currently, 11.7% of people in Brazil have been fully vaccinated.
The country has seen over 509,000 deaths, which amounts to 13% of overall global deaths as of today (25 June).
‘People are dying’ because President undermines science
There is an ongoing inquiry into vaccine and distancing decisions made by Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, who at one point, openly suggested that taking the Pfizer vaccine could turn the recipient into a crocodile.
“It is frustrating and disappointing to have a president undermine science, but much more than that, people are dying because of it,” said Pedro Curi Hallal, an epidemiologist at the Federal University of Pelotas, responding to anti-vaccination statements made by President Bolsonaro.
Now, 1 in 400 Brazilians are dead due to the virus.
Right now, due to the conditions of overcrowding in hospitals, a ‘superfungus’ that is rapidly resistant to antibiotics is also emerging in Brazil.
Brazil is currently in the middle of a congressional inquiry into why so many COVID-19 deaths were allowed to happen in Brazil. The investigation is analysing if the President intentionally avoided making vaccine deals to promote herd mentality, and if he supported genocide of Indigenous people in the Amazon by allowing the Gamma variant to run freely there.
The Gamma variant behind COVID-19 deaths?
In Brazil, the Gamma variant mutated in the absence of vaccinations and social distancing measures. The Gamma variant collected 17 mutations – including an important trio of mutations in the spike protein (K417T, E484K and N501Y).
Samir Bhatt said: “Our analysis shows that P.1 emerged in Manaus around November 2020. It went from not being detectable in our genetic samples to accounting for 87 percent of the positive samples in just seven weeks.”
The spike is what the antibodies in vaccines are generally identifying and destroying, so too many mutations of the spike can give the virus an edge against natural antibodies – that is, antibodies that happen in a person after they survive COVID-19.
This means that without vaccination, it is less likely that virus survivors can use their natural antibodies to fight off a second infection.
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