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Research Article

Composing bodies with the COVID-19 vaccine: the cosmopolitics of health among Guarani peoples

Maria Paula PratesMaria Paula Prates

Maria Paula Prates is a Departmental Lecturer in Medical Anthropology at the University of Oxford. She has been working with Indigenous Peoples from lowland South America, mainly the Guarani-Mbyá, over the last 20 years. Her research projects focus on Anthropocene Health and Coloniality, encompassing birthing, unconsented episiotomies, sterilisation and c-section, Indigenous midwifery knowledge(s) and the imbricated relation between Tuberculosis and environmental devastation.

Abstract

In this article, I focus on Guarani Indigenous peoples’ modalities of relating to, trusting, and distrusting the Brazilian Public Health System (SUS) and its agents during the Covid-19 pandemic. I compare relational configurations as a means to understand the reasons for a low take-up of Covid-19 vaccines among Kaiowá collectives in the first moment yet a high rate of vaccination among the Mbyá. I also discuss conceptions of health and the body in light of a guiding framework that aims to reflect on epidemiological protocols that sometimes are disconnected from the Indigenous dynamics and end up clashing counterproductively with their care technologies.

Keywords

COVID-19 vaccinationIndigenous peoplesbodiestrust
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Published on: 19 December 2023
Volume: 11
Issue: Supplementary issue 6
Article ID: 013
Pages:13 - 30
Copyright statement
© The author(s) 2023.
Cite this article
Prates (2023), ' Composing bodies with the COVID-19 vaccine: the cosmopolitics of health among Guarani peoples ', Journal of the British Academy, 11(Supplementary issue 6): 013 https://doi.org/10.5871/jba/011s6.013

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Composing bodies with the COVID-19 vaccine: the cosmopolitics of health among Guarani peoples

Maria Paula PratesMaria Paula Prates

Maria Paula Prates is a Departmental Lecturer in Medical Anthropology at the University of Oxford. She has been working with Indigenous Peoples from lowland South America, mainly the Guarani-Mbyá, over the last 20 years. Her research projects focus on Anthropocene Health and Coloniality, encompassing birthing, unconsented episiotomies, sterilisation and c-section, Indigenous midwifery knowledge(s) and the imbricated relation between Tuberculosis and environmental devastation.