SAO PAULO, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Brazil registered another 551 deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 209,847, its health ministry reported Monday.
Another 33,040 COVID-19 cases were reported over the past day, bringing the total caseload to 8,488,099, the ministry added.
The new figures were reported after Brazil's Health Regulatory Agency unanimously approved on Sunday the emergency use of the CoronaVac vaccine, from the Chinese laboratory Sinovac, as well as the AstraZeneca-University of Oxford vaccine.
Sao Paulo has been the hardest-hit state, with 1,625,339 cases and 49,945 deaths.
A nationwide mass vaccination program will begin on Wednesday, with vaccine doses starting to be distributed to all states on Monday, according to the health ministry.
Vaccination priority will go to those high-risk groups such as healthcare workers, people over 60 years of age, those with chronic diseases and indigenous people.
Brazil has the world's second-highest COVID-19 death toll and the third-highest caseload, following the United States and India.