Indigenous people unite ancestry and science in a ritual to give thanks for the arrival of the vaccine for children

Bruno Pacheco – Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS – Less than two days before the first year of the start of vaccination against Covid-19 in Brazil, indigenous people celebrated on Saturday 15, in a ritual that united ancestry and science, in the village Mata Verde, in Maricá, Rio de Janeiro, the arrival of Pfizer’s immunization for children. The application of the doses for the 5 to 11 year old age group was approved less than a month ago by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), but was facing resistance from the Bolsonaro government.

Throughout the emotional celebration, as health professionals arrived with the vaccines, children and adults, holding hands, came together in a circle, where they sang, danced, and played musical instruments. The ceremony was filmed and shared on social media.

“It was already evening when the vaccines arrived. Life is in a hurry. And in Maricá, the decision is to vaccinate. In a ritual that united ancestry and science, the Mata Verde Village celebrated with chants of their native language, Tupi-Guarani, the arrival of the doses of life to protect their children”, wrote the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (Apib), in a post on Twitter.

The indigenous people are considered a risk group, because they are more vulnerable to the Covid-19 virus, since they live in groups and far from the ‘big’ health centers, as already warned health authorities around the world since the beginning of the pandemic. At a time when science suffers from denialism, for the population, the video of the arrival of the vaccine against the new coronavirus for children is the realization of a hard-to-achieve dream.

“What a beautiful thing! Whenever I see people opposing science and beliefs, I feel sad and wonder why they can’t coexist. This video was the realization of a dream I couldn’t even imagine”, wrote Twitter user Maria Sorella.

Another internet user remembered the fake news disseminated by Bolsonarist deniers who are against the vaccine, and celebrated the fact that the indigenous people were not deceived and still got immunized. “What a beautiful scene, how nice that the indigenous people were not deceived by the Bolsonarist deniers, may Tupã protect them”, Richard Ghibu posted on Twitter.

Collective welfare

For specialists, the health of the child public is a collective and individual welfare, and the vaccination of people under 18 years old, when indicated by health authorities, is foreseen in article 14 of the Child and Adolescent Statute (ECA). “The well being of children and adolescents is not only a duty of parents, but of the State and society as a whole”, stated the lawyer and professor in Manaus Juan Pablo, who has a Master’s degree in Environmental Law and is a doctoral candidate at the University of Coimbra.

Moreover, according to the same statute, in Article 98, measures to protect children and adolescents are applicable whenever their rights are threatened or violated, by action or omission of society or the state, by fault, omission or abuse of parents or guardians and by reason of the conduct of children and adolescents themselves.

Because of this, parents or guardians who refuse to vaccinate children may lose custody of their children, as they are subject to the measures provided for in Article 129 of the ECA, such as the loss of custody and parental authority.

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