Brazil’s president-elect demands children be exempt from flu vaccine

Image copyright AFP Image caption Bolsonaro says medical assistants should treat his children if the outbreak is raised by health authorities Brazil’s far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro says he will not be vaccinated against the…

Brazil's president-elect demands children be exempt from flu vaccine

Image copyright AFP Image caption Bolsonaro says medical assistants should treat his children if the outbreak is raised by health authorities

Brazil’s far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro says he will not be vaccinated against the deadly H7N9 avian flu.

“The children are my priority, not the influenza virus,” he told a meeting of his new administration.

He added, “Most Brazilian doctors don’t want to be on my team because I won’t be vaccinated against influenza.”

Mr Bolsonaro says medical assistants should treat his children if the outbreak is raised by health authorities.

He said he would prevent his children from travelling abroad, to shield them from the virus.

“I want to be with my children the day that there is an outbreak,” he said in an interview with G1 news website.

The Brazilian president-elect’s threat to drop the vaccine is likely to make patients and health workers anxious.

Antibiotics are often given for influenza, but they have unpleasant side effects.

However, Mr Bolsonaro has also said he wants to change the country’s system of giving out vaccines and medicines.

“Health is the most important area for me,” he told G1.

“For me, the vaccine should be a personal matter, according to family, social class and even gender.”

In recent weeks, the H7N9 avian flu virus has infected at least 12 humans in Japan and seven in China.

More than 200 people have also been diagnosed in Russia.

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