Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has said that he will not need the Covid-19 vaccine since he has already had coronavirus and therefore, Covid-19 antibodies as well.
According to Brazilian media, UOL, Bolsonaro also warned those planning to take the Covid-19 vaccine in the country that if they turn into alligators or grow beards post-inoculation, then it is their problem.
Bolsonaro was speaking at a public event in Porto Seguro in Brazil. The video of his speech, which has now gone viral on social media, was also shared on Twitter by journalist Samuel Pancher.
At the event, Bolsonaro said that many have reprimanded him for setting a bad example by refusing to take the Covid-19 vaccine. To them, the President said that he did not need to, since he had already been infected with the coronavirus.
On this note, it needs to be mentioned that cases of coronavirus reinfection have been reported in Brazil.
In the video, UOL claims that Bolsonaro also took a jibe at American pharmaceutical company Pfizer for not taking responsibility for the side effects of the vaccine. The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech has become the first in the world to be approved for emergency use - first in the UK, followed by US.
Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Brazil was eyeing a deal with Pfizer for delivery of 70 million jabs for its people. However, Reuters also reported that Pfizer was encountering difficulty in registering its COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in Brazil due to the level of detail required by the regulator, according to Brazilian Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello.
UOL also claims that Bolsonaro said that if people turn into alligators or if men start speaking in thin voices and women grow beards after taking the Covid-19 vaccine, then it will be their problem because Pfizer will not be liable.
This is not the first time Bolsonaro has spoken against Covid-19 vaccination in public. In November this year, reports quoted him saying that he won't take the coronavirus vaccine and he has every right to refuse it if he wants.
He has also repeatedly said that no Brazilian will be forced to take the coronavirus vaccine unless they want to -- a decision that puts him at odds with the Brazil court. AFP also reported that Brazil Supreme Court ruled that people could be “required, but not forced” by civil authorities to be vaccinated.
In July this year, Bolsonaro tested positive for coronavirus and went into self-isolation. He had suffered mild symptoms only, he had said. The Brazilian president has frequently downplayed the virus, which has already claimed over 1.8 lakh lives in the country, and he also once called it a "little flu."