The COVID-19 vaccination program of Brazil continues to fail, with its number of deaths close in on the 400,000 mark, making it the second-highest in the world. After recording a high of over 4,000 deaths at the beginning of April, 3,001 deaths were tallied in just 24 hours.

Brazil COVID-19 deaths, second-highest worldwide

The 14-day total of deaths and cases is still high, but it has begun to decline somehow. Congress is investigating the government's response to the pandemic. President Jair Bolsonaro, who has repeatedly spoken out about lockdowns, masks, and defended unproven drugs as treatments, has come under fire, and his support has plunged.

More transmissible virus variants and a lack of coordinated national approach have fueled the outbreak, BBC reported. Since states and cities imposed controls, the condition changed in many ways, including when the health system was on the verge of failure, but the restrictions are still being relaxed.

According to the health institute Fiocruz, the rate of intensive care unit bed occupancy remains at or above 90 percent in more than a third of Brazil, indicating that the situation remains intensive. Between March and April, the country's worst months, Brazil reported 100,000 deaths in just 37 days. Only the United States has a higher fatality rate.

Brazil has had more than 14.5 million cases since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Meanwhile, due to the lack of vaccines, some cities have partially suspended their vaccination campaigns. According to the Our World in Data tracker, only 13 percent of the 212 million population has received at least one dose.

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High death rates might be the norm with slow COVID-19 vaccinations

According to Reuters, the P.1 coronavirus strain found in Brazil, which is thought to be 2.5 times more infectious than the original, is to blame for the rise in infections. Diego Xavier, a researcher at the government health institute Fiocruz, said the vaccination rollout had not curbed the outbreak without social restrictions. 

Xavier also estimated that without a significant increase in vaccine rates, such as that seen in the United States, more than 2,000 deaths every day would become the standard. Experts blamed the high death rate on the government's inability to mount a robust enough response to the pandemic, blaming everyone from President Jair Bolsonaro to several state governors and mayors.

"This government's managerial negligence, headed by the president, is mostly to blame for the 400,000 deaths," said Jamal Suleiman, a doctor at the Emilio Ribas Infectology Institute. The vaccination program has hit a snag, with the Health Ministry announcing that 30 percent fewer vaccinations were collected in January to April than anticipated over the weekend. Some municipalities have run out of vaccines and cannot provide second vaccinations as scheduled, while some have had long lines, and residents worry stocks will run out.

Brazil's black communities hard hit by COVID-19

Reports from the public health organization Vital Strategies and Afro CEBRAP, a So Paulo-based research center for color, gender, and racial justice, black Brazilians have died in more significant numbers from COVID-19 at 30 percent more than white people in 2020. Under COVID-19, Afro CEBRAP has developed eight reports on racial injustice. White Brazilians had undergone twice as many vaccines as Black Brazilians as of late March.

Brazilians of African origin account for more than half of the population. Three-quarters of the poor in Brazil are Black or pardo, multiracial in Portuguese. They have taken the brunt of the pandemic's effects, including a slew of economic and health consequences, more than any other group in the country, as per The World via MSN.

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