Despite its long and proud vaccination history, Brazil is one of the 10 countries in the world with most children unprotected against measles, and COVID-19 vaccines are not widely available for younger children.
In this project, journalist Chloé Pinheiro and her team explore the root causes of this serious threat to Brazil's public health system, in particular the systematic actions of then-President Jair Bolsonaro's government against vaccines, and the misinformation campaign promoted by doctors and politicians.
The story will be told with a multimedia approach, with three main pieces in different outlets: first, a printed and online story for Veja Saúde, the leading health magazine in Brazil, focused on the National Immunization Program and how it has been destroyed, visiting cities with the poorest and the highest vaccination rates and interviewing families. This story will be documented with the support of a videographer.
Then, the team will produce an online data-supported story for Núcleo Jornalismo about vaccine misinformation on social media. The team will look at how the main spreaders of misinformation are dodging YouTube’s algorithm. As a complement to that, an episode on the Ciência Suja podcast will investigate the people behind these channels: How are they profiting? What are the interests behind spreading misinformation?
Finally, the project will discuss the global implications of this situation: Could Brazil's bad example serve as a warning to the rest of the world?