December 18, 2020


1. With a new date set and a R$ 20 billion investment, national vaccination plan will continue through 2022

The federal government authorized a R$ 20 billion (USD $3.93 billion) mass vaccination plan against the coronavirus, through a Preventive Measure signed by President Jair Bolsonaro. The amount will be used to buy vaccines, syringes and needles as well as to cover logistical costs. According to Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello, the first phase of vaccination will take place in “mid-February”. Previously, the minister had said that vaccinations would begin in December, January and even March. Over 16 months, 49.6 million people should receive the vaccine.
The government expects to receive 24.7 million doses of the vaccine in January. 9 million of these doses will be produced by São Paulo’s state government in a partnership with the Chinese company Sinovac, 15 million by AstraZeneca and 500,000 by Pfizer. People over 60 years of age, indigenous people, Afro-Brazilian communities, people with chronic diseases, people who are incarcerated, riverside communities, homeless people, teachers, health workers, the prison system and public transport workers will be vaccinated in the first stage of the vaccination campaign. Vaccines will only be available in private clinics after the public health system receives the doses they ordered.

O Globo: Bolsonaro libera R$ 20 bilhões para vacinação contra coronavírus
Folha de S.Paulo: Rede privada só terá vacina depois de o SUS ser atendido
O Estado de S. Paulo: Governo quer concluir vacinação em 2022
Folha de S.Paulo: Ministro critica ‘ansiedade’ popular e presidente faz ‘mea culpa’

2. Most Brazilians support restrictions; Federal Supreme Court rules that vaccine is mandatory

A Datafolha poll reveals that the majority of Brazilians are in favor of restrictions such as closing schools (60%), shops, bars and restaurants (55%), as well as gyms, beauty salons and offices (59%). The poll also reveals that 42% of people think that President Jair Bolsonaro’s work during the pandemic was bad or awful. On the other hand, 30% of people saw his performance as good or great and 27% saw it as average. The country has registered over 184,000 deaths due to the coronavirus and over 7 million people have tested positive.
Amid a political dispute on vaccinations, with opposite views, the Federal Supreme Court had to rule on the case. With a vote of 10-1, the Court decided that the vaccine is mandatory, but that no one can be vaccinated without consent. Additionally, the justices made it clear that the government can impose sanctions on those who cannot prove they have been vaccinated, such as limiting access to jobs or canceling benefit payments. President Jair Bolsonaro criticized the court’s decision. ‘With all due respect, the Supreme Court has made a hasty decision. We don’t even have the vaccine. It won’t be available for everyone,” he said.

Folha de S.Paulo: Maioria aprova restrições para conter coronavírus
O Estado de S. Paulo: STF diz que vacinação tem que ser obrigatória
Folha de S.Paulo: Não vai ter vacina para todo mundo, diz presidente
G1: Acompanhe notícias sobre a pandemia
IRRD Covid-19: Veja o mapeamento de casos no Brasil e no mundo

3. Government wants another USD $1.2 billion in loans from international banks

President Jair Bolsonaro asked Congress to approve taking out USD $1.2 billion in loans from international development banks. He is requesting USD $1 billion from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and USD $200 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The government says that they need the money to soften the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the country. The request for a loan was planned by the Ministry of Economy, which is trying to cover expenses for benefits such as Bolsa Família – which helps people in vulnerable situations – and a line of credit for small and medium size companies.
This week, the Senate approved another five loan requests from the federal government, a total of R$ 13.4 billion (USD $2.6 billion) in loans. Members of congress approved a request for USD $1 billion from the New Development Bank, USD $1 billion from IDB, USD $250 million from CAF (Development Bank of Latin America) and 200 million € from the French Development Agency. According to the General Secretariat of the Presidency, the requested credit will “cover the federal government’s expenses for benefits and the amount will be used to pay the public debt.”

Folha de S.Paulo: Governo pede mais empréstimos internacionais

4. GDP per capita in this decade close to worst level in 120 years

A Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) study shows that Brazil could end this year with the worst economic growth result and worst Gross Domestic Product (GDP) variation in the past 120 years. The study reveals that the country would be in a difficult situation even if the pandemic hadn’t happened and that there will be a 0.2% average economic growth in this decade.
According to the study, the GDP per capita had an average drop of 0.6% from 2011 to 2020, the same drop was registered from 1981 to 1990, and is the worst result since 1901. This year, in a comparative assessment in the study, the indicator could end at USD $10,900 – lower than the previously registered USD $11,600 – which represents 25% of what is seen in the United States.

Valor Econômico: PIB per capita ruma para pior resultado em 120 anos
O Estado de S. Paulo: OCDE estima queda de 5% no PIB

5. 23% of Brazilians will spend more money than they have on Christmas shopping

A study by the Credit Protection Service in partnership with the National Confederation of Store Managers reveals that 23% of Brazilians will spend more money than they have available on Christmas presents this year. According to the study, when analyzing people of lower income, this number reaches 27%.
One in every four people interviewed said that they plan on buying presents but that they have at least one bill that hasn’t been paid. In this group, 9% of people said that they are still planning on having a Christmas party, 9% say they will buy gifts and 7% will not pay their bills in order to celebrate the new year.

6 Minutos: 23% gastarão mais do que podem com presentes