BRASILIA, Brazil — The official COVID-19 death toll in Brazil is about to hit 500,000, the second highest in the world behind the United States.
Official data showed some 2,000 COVID-19 deaths per day in Brazil in the past week, representing one-fifth the global total. Only 11% of Brazil’s population is fully vaccinated.
Brazil’s Senate is investigating how the toll got so high, focusing on why President Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right government ignored opportunities to buy vaccines for months while it relentlessly pushed hydroxychloroquine. That’s a malaria drug that rigorous studies have shown to be ineffective in treating COVID-19.
The nationally televised hearings have contained scientific claims, counterclaims and outright falsehoods. The skepticism has extended to the death toll itself, with Bolsonaro arguing the official tally from his own Health Ministry is greatly exaggerated. However, some epidemiologists saying the real death number is significantly higher — perhaps hundreds of thousands higher.
Bolsonaro has waged a 15-month campaign to downplay the coronavirus and keep the economy humming. He dismissed the scourge early on as “a little flu” and scorned masks. He tested positive for COVID-19 last year.
The U.S. recently surpassed 600,000 confirmed deaths.
Virginians age 12+ are eligible for COVID-19 vaccine. Pre-registration is no longer required, so go to Vaccine Finder to search for specific vaccines available near you or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-275-8343).
Have You Been Fully Vaccinated?
People are considered fully vaccinated:
- 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
- 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
How to Protect Yourself and Others When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated
COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.
We’re still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. After you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions—like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces—in public places until we know more.
These recommendations can help you make decisions about daily activities after you are fully vaccinated. They are not intended for healthcare settings.