RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s Supreme Court says coronavirus vaccination can be made mandatory, delivering a blow to the nation’s nascent anti-vaccine movement.
However, the court also says Brazilians may not be vaccinated against their will. A court statement says Thursday’s ruling does pave the way for state and municipal governments to approve laws imposing fines or restrictive measures for anyone refusing to take a vaccine.
President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly said he will not take any vaccine and opposes mandatory immunization. He has also sown skepticism about potential side effects.
Opinion polls have indicated a growing resistance to vaccination, with about one-fifth of Brazilians surveyed by pollster Datafolha this month saying they don’t intend to get a shot. That is more than double the percentage four months earlier.
Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa has yet to approve any shot for mass immunization.