Vaccination key to economic recovery, says Brazilian minister

BRASILIA, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- Mass vaccination against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is key to resuming economic growth, Brazil's Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said Monday.

Commenting on tax collection in 2020, which presented a real drop of 6.91 percent, Guedes stressed immunization will lead to the normalization of economic activities.

"The safe return to work is important, and mass vaccination is decisive. It is a critical success factor for the good performance of the economy," he said.

Brazil launched a nationwide vaccination drive a week ago using the CoronaVac vaccine developed by Chinese laboratory Sinovac in collaboration with the Butantan Institute of Sao Paulo.

This weekend, doses of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine also began to be used.

According to Guedes, the government is negotiating to access other vaccines to speed up the immunization process.

"I hope that everyone takes care of themselves. Health and mass vaccination are fundamental, they are also critical factors to economic results. So for the economy to take off again, we have to accelerate this mass vaccination," he said.

According to the latest report published Sunday by the Ministry of Health, Brazil has registered 8,844,577 cases of COVID-19 infection and 217,037 deaths from the disease.

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