Brazilian city wants to vaccinate entire population in a single day

vaccine trial Botucatu. Photo: Rani Miro/Shutterstock
Botucatu. Photo: Rani Miro/Shutterstock

Two weeks ago, the Health Ministry announced it would distribute AstraZeneca vaccines to the entire population of Botucatu, a 145,000-people city in São Paulo state. The city will host an eight-month study that will allow researchers to draw conclusions about the vaccine’s efficacy in the real world.

Indeed, the city’s goals are even more ambitious: Botucatu wants to vaccinate its entire adult population in a single day.

Botucatu’s municipal government signed a cooperation deal with the Electoral Justice system to use its voter database to set up vaccination stations and immunize 105,000 people within 24 hours, similar to the election process.

The state of São Paulo held a similar study using the Chinese-made CoronaVac in Serrana, a small town of 45,000 people just 300 kilometers north of São Paulo. While it remains too early to draw definitive conclusions, early findings point to a low incidence of severe side effects and a drastic reduction in hospitalizations due to respiratory problems.