The Brazilian vaccine divide: How some municipalities were left behind in the Covid-19 vaccine coverage

por Antonio Fernando Boing, Alexandra Crispim Boing, Lorena Barberia Marcelo Eduardo Borges


This study aims to assess the progress of geographic, socioeconomic, and demographic disparities in Covid-19 vaccination coverage in Brazil over the first two years of the vaccination campaign. Data from the National Immunization Program Information System were used to estimate covid-19 vaccine coverage. Brazilian municipalities were divided into two groups based on their vaccine coverage for the booster dose. The first group comprised 20% of municipalities with the lowest coverage, while the second group (80% of municipalities) had higher coverage. The analysis was conducted separately for four age groups: 5–11, 12–17, 18–59, and 60+. Explanatory variables included socioeconomic and health services indicators. Crude and adjusted logistic regression models were used to estimate the probability of a municipality being among those with the worst vaccination coverage according to the categories of exploratory variables. Between January/2021 and December/2022, Brazil administered 448.2 million doses of the covid-19 vaccine. The booster vaccination coverage varied from 24.8% among adolescents to 79.7% among the elderly. The difference between the group with the highest and lowest coverage increased during the national vaccination campaign. Municipalities with lower education levels, higher proportion of Black population, higher Gini index, and worse health service indicators had a greater likelihood of having lower vaccination coverage. High and increasing levels of inequality in Covid-19 vaccination were observed in Brazil across all age groups during the vaccination campaign in 2021–2022.