Machine-Gun-Wielding Men Steal COVID Vaccines From Brazil Health Centre

Machine-gun-wielding robbers in Brazil have broken into a health centre, taken workers hostage and made away with COVID-19 vaccines.

The two men stole around 20 doses’ worth of the Chinese-developed CoronaVac vaccine from the health centre in the upscale neighbourhood of Ponta Negra in the north-eastern Brazilian city of Natal on the morning of 22nd March.

The vaccines were reportedly destined for elderly residents, and cops say it is clear the medicine was the express target of the robbery.


Workers at the health centre told local media that the two criminals arrived at their workplace, snatched a cooler and demanded to know where the vaccines were.

Victim Shimene Dias told local media: “They put guns to our heads and asked about the vaccines. It was terrifying because they were extremely aggressive.”

Shimene’s colleague was attacked by the men and had his mobile phone snatched before the pair fled the scene with their stolen goods.

She told local media: “They are well educated on storage. They were careful and took the vaccines in the coolers.”

Shimene also revealed the criminals had tried and failed to rob the centre earlier in the day.

She said a nurse had parked up at the health centre earlier the same morning to drop off some medical goods when the criminals parked up behind her.

Google Maps/Newsflash

One of them, who was wearing a mask, then got out of the vehicle, pointed a gun at the nurse’s head and demanded the vaccines.

The nurse reportedly told him that she was not dropping off any vaccines and that the centre was not holding any.

There were reportedly around 50 people in and around the health centre at the time, and their panic caused the criminals to flee the scene.

The police were called, but failed to provide security in time for the criminals’ subsequent robbery attempt to be thwarted.

Shimene told local media that it was a traumatic experience for her and her colleague and that she is now afraid to return to work.

The two suspects were apprehended later in the day after they were caught on CCTV, and their getaway Kia Cerato was also seized.

At the time of reporting, the stolen vaccine doses remained unrecovered.

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