Bolsonaro’s Covid vaccination certificate ‘false,’ probe finds

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Brazilian ex-president Jair Bolsonaro’s Covid vaccination certificate was forged, an investigation by the country’s Comptroller General’s office revealed on Thursday, but it recommended that the case be closed.

The finding comes after federal police said last year that they uncovered a scheme in which a top Bolsonaro aide allegedly tapped a network of contacts in the health system and government to obtain fraudulent vaccination certificates for Bolsonaro and others.

Police have said there was evidence Bolsonaro was “fully aware” of the fraudulent entries in the health ministry’s electronic vaccination records system, which they said aimed to enable his anti-vaccine inner circle to dodge international travel requirements and other pandemic restrictions.

In the investigation, Brazil’s comptroller points to inconsistencies between documents from the Brazilian Health Ministry and Bolsonaro’s vaccination record, which indicates that he was administered a dose of Covid vaccine in Sao Paulo in July 2022.

Thus, “regarding the vaccination that allegedly took place in Sao Paulo — the only record that still remains on (Bolsonaro’s) vaccination card … the conclusion was that it was fraud in the state system for registering vaccinations against Covid-19,” the regulatory body said in a statement.

The investigation concluded that the Covid vaccination certificate issued to Bolsonaro is “false.”

However, it recommended that the case be closed “for lack of sufficient evidence” to find those responsible, after noting that many civil servants were able to enter false data, having gained access to the vaccination computer system.

One of the aims of the investigation was to determine whether federal officials had falsified Bolsonaro’s vaccination record.

During his 2019-2022 tenure, the far-right leader consistently criticized Covid vaccines, insisting that he had no intention of being immunized against the pandemic that has claimed more than 700,000 lives so far in Brazil.

He later admitted that he had not been vaccinated.

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