18-Year-Old Brazilian Model Valentina Boscardin Dies of COVID

Valentina Boscardin, a Brazilian model, died due to COVID complications last week aged just 18.

She had been fully vaccinated against COVID and was also healthy before falling ill with the virus, according to various Spanish-language news outlets. She reportedly passed away on Sunday.

CNN Portugal, as well as Brazilian journalist Felipeh Campos, via his Instagram account, reported that Boscardin had suffered a blood clot during her COVID infection. Newsweek has been unable to verify this.

Campos described her, in a post translated from Portuguese, as "on the rise and ready to take on an international career."

Boscardin's mother, Marcia Boscardin, who is a well-known Brazilian presenter, also confirmed the model's passing on Instagram. "It is with great pain that I say goodbye to the love of my life," she wrote.

Valentina Boscardin was part of the Ford Model Brasil Sao Paulo modeling agency, according to newspaper La Vanguardia, and had been following in the footsteps of her mother who had also had a modeling career before transitioning to television.

It is not unheard of for young and healthy people to get severely ill with COVID. Wynter Ho, a 26-year-old California woman, was recently released from hospital after having spent more than half a year receiving care for COVID complications—though she had not been vaccinated.

After being discharged she told news outlet ABC 7: "I feel I was meant to catch it, to relay the message that young people my age need to get vaccinated."

Throughout the pandemic, Brazil has reported more than 22 million COVID cases and 620,507 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. About 69 percent of the country's population is fully vaccinated.

Weekly COVID cases in the country have been declining in recent months from June to December 2021, but there has been a sharp increase over the past several days, Johns Hopkins University data also shows.

Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, has been criticized throughout the pandemic for what some have seen as a poor and reluctant response to the virus, which has hit Brazil hard. The country has among the highest total death tolls in the world.

Last week, the head of Brazil's health regulator Anvisa asked Bolsonaro to retract critical statements he had made regarding the authorization of COVID vaccines for children.

Bolsonaro had questioned "the interests of vaccine maniacs" in a radio interview, according to Reuters.

Globally, there had been more than 312 million confirmed COVID cases including 5,501,000 deaths as of January 12, according to the World Health Organization. There had also been around 9.2 billion vaccine doses administered.

Hospital bed
A stock photo shows the hand of an anonymous patient in a hospital bed. A young Brazilian model recently passed away with COVID complications aged just 18. kckate16/Getty