Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro promoted a bizarre conspiracy theory about the potential effects of the novel coronavirus vaccine during a speech to his supporters. Bolsonaro contracted COVID-19 earlier this year and recovered after a short illness.
According to The New York Post, the president claimed that because he had already battled the virus, he would not get a shot as he had “antibodies” that would help protect him against reinfection, despite evidence that antibodies can wear off after time.
“I’m not going to get [the vaccine]. Some say I’m setting a bad example. Hey a–hole, oh idiot, what are you saying about the bad example, I already had the virus, I already have antibodies. Why should I get the vaccine again?” Bolsonaro said.
However, Bolsonaro then descended into anti-vaxx beliefs, which had been highlighted in his recent decision to go against his nation’s Supreme Court by declaring that no citizen would be required to receive a vaccine. The justice system had previously ruled that people could be “required, but not forced” by civil authorities to be vaccinated, per Yahoo! News.
Some of Bolsonaro’s comments against the vaccine cited effects that have not been documented in any study or seen in any of the recent immunization events, such as the claim that women might start growing beards. An even wilder allegation was that the drug could make humans more reptilian.
“And another thing that has to be made very clear,” Bolsonaro said. “There in the Pfizer contract, it is very clear that we (Pfizer) are not responsible for any side effect. If you become an alligator, it is your problem. … And what is worse, tampering with people’s immune systems.”
It is not just Brazil’s president that has a difficult relationship with Pfizer. The nation’s health regulator has also given the drug company a hard time by demanding much red tape in registering the medicine. As a result, it has still not been approved despite a planned deal for Pfizer to deliver around 70 million doses to Brazil.
The coronavirus has infected around 7.21 million residents of the South American nation and claimed over 186,000 lives. However, the country has been accused of hiding its true death toll in a move that critics called “inhumane.”
Brazil is not the only country where skepticism and conspiracies about the medical breakthrough have been flourishing. In the United States, a viral hoax falsely claimed that a nurse who received a dose and later fainted had actually died, as was previously reported by The Inquisitr.