Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has announced that he no longer plans to receive any of the COVID-19 vaccinations. He said he’s got something better than that: natural immunity.

He had previously said he would be “the last Brazilian” to receive the shot, but after speaking with medical experts following his own COVID-19 infection, he decided against it.


“I decided not to take the vaccine anymore,” President Bolsonaro said. “I’m seeing new studies … I already have the highest immunization. I am going to get the vaccine for what? It would be the same thing as playing $10 in the lottery to win $2. It doesn’t make sense.”


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Bolsonaro is 66 years old and has said he’s not explicitly against the vaccine, just the coercion being used by some entities.

He denounced the use of vaccine passports by some of the state and local governments in Brazil. “For me,” he said, “freedom comes before everything else. If a citizen doesn’t want to get vaccinated, that’s his right and that’s the end of it.”


Last month, the President ate a slice of pizza on a New York City street, as he was not allowed to enter the restaurant due to his vaccination status. He was also denied entry into a stadium to watch a soccer game between Santos and Grêmio last week for the same reason.

President Bolsonaro said that the vaccine mandates feel like they’re financially motivated. “I’m not against immunization,” he said. “In December last year I signed a provisional decree for BRL 20 billion to buy it [vaccines] and now practically everyone has had at least the first dose. Now, demanding the vaccine, this feels like a market thing.”