SAO PAULO: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has refused to take any COVID-19 vaccine, said on Saturday (Dec 19) that he did not think the world's rush for a vaccine was justified because the pandemic is in his view coming to an end.
New coronavirus cases have not indicated the pandemic is ending. In recent days, several countries including Brazil have reported record numbers of daily cases.
"The pandemic is really reaching its end, the numbers have showed this, we are dealing with small rises now," said Bolsonaro. "But the rush for the vaccine is not justified because you are playing with people's lives."
Bolsonaro has been widely criticised for minimising COVID-19, calling the disease caused by the virus a "little flu" even as Brazil is one of the countries most affected.
On Saturday, Brazil registered 50,177 new cases, bringing the total to 7,213,155. Deaths rose by 706 to 186,356.