President Jair Bolsonaro poses for photos with the mascot of the nation's vaccination campaign during a ceremony in Brasilia. AP
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has launched an attack on coronavirus vaccines, even suggesting that the one developed by Pfizer-BioNTech could turn people into crocodiles or bearded ladies.
The far-right leader has been sceptical of the coronavirus since it first emerged late last year, branding it "a little flu."
This week he insisted he would not be vaccinated, even while launching the country's mass innoculation programme.
"In the Pfizer contract it's very clear: 'we're not responsible for any side effects.' If you turn into a crocodile, it's your problem," Bolsonaro said.
That vaccine has been undergoing tests in Brazil for weeks and is already being used in the United States and Britain.
"If you become superhuman, if a woman starts to grow a beard or if a man starts to speak with an effeminate voice, they will not have anything to do with it," he said, referring to the drug manufacturers.
When launching the immunisation campaign, Bolsonaro also said it would be free but not compulsory. But the Supreme Court ruled that the vaccine was obligatory, although could not be "forced" on people.
That means authorities can fine people for not being vaccinated and ban them from certain public spaces, but not force them to take it.
Bolsonaro said that once a vaccine has been certified by Brazil's regulatory agency Anvisa, "it will be available for everyone that wants it. But me, I won't get vaccinated."
"Some people say I'm giving a bad example. But to the imbeciles, to the idiots that say this, I tell them I've already caught the virus, I have the antibodies, so why get vaccinated?"
There have been a small number of cases of apparent reinfection although there is no certainty over whether a person can be reinfected or how long immunity lasts. Bolsonaro caught the virus in July but recovered within three weeks.
Brazil is in the middle of a second wave of coronavirus infections. After peaking in June to August cases had been dropping but that changed in November.
The country's immunisation programme has been widely criticised for being late and chaotic, not least given Bolsonaro's opposition.
In a recent survey, people who said social distancing and COVID-safety guidelines violated their personal freedoms responded more positively to these ideas when they felt a loved one might be at risk of severe illness.
According to sources, a person with a valid Dubai visa can book an appointment with DHA’s accredited facilities using the toll free number 800342. Authorities said that the Medical Record Number (MRN) is must for booking an appointment.
Oman, with more than 128,000 recorded cases, 1,491 of them fatal, is to launch its vaccination campaign on Sunday.
UAE Fatwa Council, under the chairmanship of Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, has issued a 'fatwa' (Islamic ruling) allowing the coronavirus vaccines to be used in compliance with Islamic Sharia’s objectives on the protection of the human body and other relevant Islamic rulings.
In fact, as we walked, we gradually realized that thousands of Porsche drivers were converging for a convention, one of many luxury-car events the area hosts every year.
Over the weekend and before the celebratory graduation party for 13 women who dared to learn about coffee-making and mixology – that which is about all the wide range of aperitifs and mixed drinks, Fahim Arrif who began as a barrista himself in his native South Africa 18 years back, said: “Over the nine years I have been in the UAE, the consumer palette for coffee has changed drastically. People have learnt to educate themselves about food they consume.
If you’re not a breakfast person, Lavash also has got you covered as the sun sets, Lavash transforms into a haven for unique unlimited pizzas