Vaccine refusal in Brazil grows to 22%, most reject Chinese shot: poll

FILE PHOTO: A nurse carries out a swab test on a patient as part of the new measures of Rio de Janeiro's government against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Sao Goncalo, near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, December 4, 2020. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The share of Brazilians unwilling to take any COVID-19 vaccine grew to 22% this week, from 9% in August, and most said they would not accept one made in China, a new poll showed on Saturday, as President Jair Bolsonaro’s comments stoked wider skepticism.

The survey by pollster Datafolha found 73% of respondents plan to take a shot and 5% do not know if they will, compared to 89% and 3%, respectively, in August.

Late last month, Bolsonaro said he would not take any coronavirus vaccine that becomes available. One of the world’s most prominent coronavirus skeptics, Bolsonaro said refusal was his “right” and expressed skepticism specifically about the vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac and produced in conjunction with Sao Paulo state government’s Butantan Institute.

According to Datafolha, only 47% of participants would take a vaccine made in China, while 50% said they would not take it and 3% said they were undecided.

The figures showed a correlation between vaccine rejection and trust in President Bolsonaro. A total of 33% of people who said they always trust Bolsonaro are unwilling to take a shot, against 16% of those who say they would never trust the president.

Reporting by Sabrina Valle; editing by Diane Craft