President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT, progressive-globalist) said that the Bolsa Familia program would again require parents to prove the vaccination of their children to continue receiving the benefit.
Bolsa Familia is a social welfare program for the poorest families in Brazil.
It’s a kind of universal basic income guaranteed to tens of millions, but only, it now turns out, if they dance to Lula’s tune.
“The Bolsa Família is coming back, and it is coming back with something important; it is coming back with conditions. The children have to be in school. If they are not in school, the mother loses the benefit.”
“The children have to be vaccinated. Suppose they don’t have a vaccination certificate. In that case, the mother will lose the benefit”, said Lula during the inauguration of the ophthalmology and diagnostic units of the Super Carioca Health Center in Benfica, Rio de Janeiro.
During the campaign, Lula had already said that vaccination would be required.
During the transition, Senator Humberto Costa (PT) also made statements about the conditions of the Bolsa Família program.
Accompanied by the first lady, Rosangela da Silva, Janja, the health minister, Nísia Trindade, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, and governor Cláudio Castro (PL), Lula also said that the program would again require prenatal care for pregnant women when they are beneficiaries of the aid.
The president didn’t explain if the covid vaccine will also be required from children or just the doses of the traditional vaccines, which are part of the child vaccination calendar.
In one of his speeches, he mentioned both the vaccine against covid and the children’s vaccination campaign, which will have the return of Zé Gotinha and the participation of Xuxa Meneguel, Lula’s supporter in the electoral campaign.
“Now the Zé Gotinha campaign will begin. We can’t hesitate; we can’t play around. It is a question of science. If there are ten covid vaccines, 50 to take, I will take as many as necessary because I like my life. I think everyone has a duty to their children’s life, take them [to vaccinate] at the right age,” Lula said.
Health Minister Nísia Trindade also spoke but did not say which vaccines would be required.
“Vaccination is a child’s right,” Nísia declared about the requirement of proof of vaccination to receive Bolsa Família.
Children’s vaccination – including doses against polio, viral triplet (measles, mumps, and rubella), and tuberculosis – has fallen since 2015. In 2021, for example, polio vaccination coverage did not reach 70%, when the recommended is 95%.
Bolsa Família stopped requiring the vaccination of children up to 6 years old when the Bolsonaro government reformulated it in 2021 and started to be called Auxílio Brasil.
The other conditions for maintaining the benefit, such as school attendance and prenatal care by pregnant beneficiaries, are no longer required.
The Bolsa Família will maintain the R$600, paid during the Bolsonaro government, and an additional R$150 per child up to 6 years old.
With information from Revista Oeste