United Kingdom

Boris Johnson tells Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro to get some AstraZeneca in him

Boris Johnson urged Brazil's anti-vaxxer President Jair Bolsonaro to get the AstraZeneca vaccine as he hailed its success in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

During a meeting in New York on Monday, the Prime Minister told the Brazilian leader, who has previously claimed Covid jabs could turn people into crocodiles, that AstraZeneca was a 'great vaccine' and he had received two doses himself. 

As the pair met inside the British Consulate General's residence, Mr Johnson told the Brazilian leader: 'I promised to come to Brazil but then we had Covid but we're working together with the vaccine.'

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro wagged his finger and replying 'not yet' after Boris Johnson urged him to get the AstraZeneca vaccine

Boris Johnson and President Jair Bolsonaro to get the met inside the British Consulate General's residence in New York

He then went on to challenge the Brazilian president's stance on vaccines and said: 'AstraZeneca, it's a great vaccine. I have AstraZeneca!'

As the press were ushered out of the grand room, Mr Johnson added: 'Thanks everybody, get AstraZeneca. I've had it twice.' 

However Mr Bolsonaro pointed at himself and wagged his finger before replying 'not yet' through an interpreter. 

During their meeting the two leaders discussed their own fights against coronavirus infections, before Mr Bolsonaro said he had developed 'excellent' immunity to the disease.  

Both men were joined by the new Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

Last year, Mr Bolsonaro was met with criticism after he lashed out at coronavirus vaccines and claimed the Pfizer jab could turn people into crocodile and also lead to women growing facial hair.

The Brazilian leader said: 'In the Pfizer contract, it's very clear: ''We're not responsible for any side effects.''If you turn into a crocodile, that's your problem.'

He continued: 'If you become superhuman, if a woman starts to grow a beard or if a man starts to speak with an effeminate voice, they [Pfizer] won't have anything to do with it.' 

Mr Bolsonaro, who recovered from Covid-19 last year, has insisted on a number of occasions that he will not receive a vaccine. 

The two leaders discussed their own fights against coronavirus infections during the meeting

Mr Bolsonaro, who contracted Covid-19 last year, said he had developed 'excellent' immunity to the disease

Mr Bolsonaro has recently been the subject of international criticism for his moves to roll back legal protection for the Amazon rainforest

He previously said: 'Some people say I'm giving a bad example. But to the imbeciles, to the idiots that say this, I tell them I've already caught the virus, I have the antibodies, so why get vaccinated?'       

Mr Bolsonaro has recently been the subject of international criticism for his moves to roll back legal protection for the Amazon rainforest, accelerating deforestation.

During the flight to New York, Mr Johnson told reporters: 'I think it's in the long-term interests of Brazil and the people of Brazil to recognise the spectacular natural inheritance, the endowment that they have, and to conserve that and I'm sure President Bolsonaro agrees with that.'

Earlier today Mr Johnson also lashed out at the world's leading economic nations as he accused them of doing 'nowhere near enough' to tackle climate change.

The Prime Minister said he was 'increasingly frustrated' at the 'vast' gap between promises and action.

Addressing a roundtable at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Mr Johnson said 'too many major economies... are lagging too far behind' when it comes to reducing harmful emissions.

Later, speaking to reporters in New York he stressed the need for wealthy countries to cough up.

'It is the developing world that is bearing the brunt of catastrophic climate change in the form of hurricanes and fires and floods and the real long-term economic damage that they face,' he said.

'And yet it's the developed world that over 200 years has put the carbon in the atmosphere that is causing this acceleration of climate change. So it really is up to us to help them.' 

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