Countryside city begins mass vaccination study

vaccination serrana herd immunity trial
Governor João Doria of São Paulo (standing up, to the right) launches Serrana’s herd immunity trial. Photo: GOVESP

The municipality of Serrana, in the state of São Paulo, will begin its mass vaccination campaign today. The 43,000-people city will serve as a sample for a herd immunity trial carried out by the Butantan Biological Institute.

The plan is to vaccinate the city’s entire adult population with the Chinese-made CoronaVac vaccine, and then evaluate “the infection’s transmission, the diminishing use of the health system, and effects such as herd immunity in the population.”

When authorities announced the trials, Brazilians from all over the country rushed to inquire about buying or renting properties in Serrana. “I’ve been in the real estate business for 30 years and I’ve never seen people trying to buy property with such haste,” one local realtor told news website iG.

With 240,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths, Brazil has the world’s second-highest death toll, behind only the U.S. And the appearance of new variants has raised even more questions about Brazil’s ability to tame the spread.

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