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Brazil Launches COVID-19 Vaccine Program for Hard Hit Indigenous People

Jose Pereira Lima gets his shot of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd., during the start of the vaccination in elderly people who live in public shelters, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Jan. 19, 2021.

Indigenous people in Brazil's rainforest are getting their long awaited first doses of a vaccine against the coronavirus, which has infected thousands in their community and killed hundreds of others.

The Brazilian military flew medical workers and 1,000 doses of the CoronaVac Chinese vaccine into the Amazon rainforest on Tuesday and began vaccinating the indigenous people, who celebrated the arrival of the vaccine.

Isabel Ticuna, one of the people in her village to get inoculated said, “the vaccination is so important for all of our indigenous community, for all the villagers. It was this that we were waiting for.”

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a tremendous toll on Brazil’s indigenous people because a large part of the population does not have immediate access to a medical facility.

The coronavirus has killed 926 indigenous people in Brazil and infected more than 46,000, according to a tribal umbrella organization called Articulation of Indigenous People of Brazil.

So far, Brazil has confirmed more than 8,500,000 cases and 210,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University COVID Resource Center.