Brazilians receiving CoronaVac vaccines encourage others to get vaccinated
Published: Feb 07, 2021 12:49 PM

Brazilian nurse Monica Calazans (L) receives the vaccine against COVID-19 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Jan. 17, 2021.(Xinhua/Rahel Patrasso)

Monica Calazans and Vanusa Kaimbe have been actively encouraging others to get vaccinated against COVID-19, as they were among the first group of Brazilians to have received the CoronaVac vaccines, developed by the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac.

The two women, both health workers, became representatives for other workers in the sector and also for the country's indigenous population.

"I am very proud to have been the first Brazilian to be vaccinated... Who has been on the frontline since the beginning (of the outbreak)? Health workers (...) I am proud to represent my sector. I lost eight friends in the pandemic," Calazans, a nurse working at the Emilio Ribas Public Hospital in Sao Paulo, told Xinhua.

The two women were inoculated at the Hospital de Clinicas after the CoronaVac and AstraZeneca vaccines were authorized for emergency use by the National Sanitary Surveillance Agency.

"I feel very good, without adverse reactions. I had no sneezing nor cough. I also had no pain in my arm, where it was applied. My routine remained the same. I didn't have to stop working, so I'm sure that the vaccine is reliable," Calazans said.

Kaimbe, a member of the Kaimbe community of the state of Bahia, was the first indigenous woman in Brazil to be vaccinated. The woman, a nursing technician, has dedicated herself to guaranteeing the indigenous people access to healthcare.

"I was concerned from the beginning, considering that one of the risky groups for any viral disease is indigenous people," she told Xinhua.

"We were the first to be vaccinated, as we are a group at risk for respiratory diseases. I told my people that the vaccine was the best we could get, and that we have to believe in science to curb extremely high mortality," she added.

Encouraging others to get vaccinated is "a noble cause," she said. "There are families that are being decimated by this virus."