After mass vaccine experiment, Serrana plans return to normality

serrana vaccine trial
Vaccine line in Serrana. Photo: Eduardo Anizelli/Folhapress

Brazil has administered more than 50 million vaccine doses so far, reaching less than 8 percent of its population. While the country is still lagging behind many of its neighbors in immunization terms, the same cannot be said for the small São Paulo city of Serrana. 

The town of just 46,000 inhabitants was the stage of Project S, a pilot initiative carried out by São Paulo’s flagship Butantan Biological Institute, offering mass vaccination for Serrana’s entire adult population. Now, Brazil’s so-called “vaccine capital” is hoping to return to normality and put the pandemic behind in the rear-view mirror. 

The effects of mass vaccination have been clear. In March, the city recorded 19 Covid-19 deaths, which fell to six in April, and just one so far in May. Speaking to news website El País, one resident is optimistic about returning to normal life once again.  resumption of regular-life celebrations: “The first thing I want to do is go dancing. We’re missing the parties.” 

Gustavo Jardim Volpe, head of Sistema S and Serrana Hospital, said that, despite the improvement in case and death figures, there is still data to be analyzed, which takes “time and rigor.”