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A first in the world: a city that has become a laboratory


Serrana, a city of 45,000 in Brazil, aims to be first in terms of herd immunity. How? By vaccinating all the inhabitants of the city, which turned into a research laboratory.

Which cities come to mind when you say Covid-19? In our opinion, in which cities of the world was the epidemic drawn? Of course, the first place is the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the epidemic is thought to have started. However, Bergamo in Italy, New York in the United States, Guayaquil in Ecuador and Manaus in Brazil are among the cities most affected by the coronavirus.
But which city will be able to take control of Covid-19 and enter the pages of history? There is no answer to this question yet, but there is a candidate. Serrana, a small Brazilian city with a population of 45,000. This city, which can be described as a town 300 km from Sao Paulo, is not so well known. But that may soon change. A major vaccine study has been launched in the city, and the study could answer many questions about the virus.
CoronaVac, a coronavirus vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac, is targeted at 30,000 city dwellers. Vaccines have been given since last week. Two out of three people in the city will be vaccinated. If all goes according to plan, we can find out if the vaccine is effective in eradicating the virus. One of the architects of the research project is Serrana Mayor Leonardo Capitelli. City residents call the 38-year-old politician simply Leo, who won the November local elections with the promise of an effective and strong fight against the epidemic.
Born in Serrana, a father of two, Capitelli worked hard to give public support to the S Project vaccination campaign in the press. Speaking to DW, Capitelli said, “As a representative of the people, it is a great honor to be a part of this historic project, to support the vaccination of the people of Serrana.” “This allows us to serve science and contribute to efforts to open up new ground and prolong life globally,” Capitelli said.
Details of the project are on the map at the table in the office of Mayor Capitelli. The order and time of who will be vaccinated and when will be on the map are shown in color in different regions. For example, city residents in the green area on the map have been vaccinated since Wednesday. Once this area is completed, it will be available to those living in the area painted yellow on the map. They will be followed by city dwellers living in other areas painted in gray and blue. After the target vaccinations in all regions, the second round of vaccinations for the second dose will begin this time. Mass vaccination is expected to be completed in two months.
Mayor Capitelli said people supported the project, “They are very excited and have high hopes not only to be vaccinated, but also to protect the family through vaccination.”
Ricardo Palacios, director of clinical research at Brazil’s prestigious Bhutan Institute, said Serrana was chosen because it is one of the regions with the highest corona virus incidence. Palacios, one of the leaders in research in Serrana, noted that the project can be implemented more effectively here, as it is not a very large city, and that both the community and city leaders have given strong support.
Although Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has described the coronavirus as “a simple flu,” the country’s scientists, like their international counterparts, are fighting the epidemic. “It’s definitely our duty,” Palacios said, “and of course we would like the government to give more support.” Brazil is one of the countries most affected by the epidemic. According to Johns Hopkins University, about 250,000 people have died in Brazil, where more than 10 million cases have been reported. The highest death toll was in Brazil after the United States. Brazil has the third highest incidence of coronavirus after the United States and India.
The whole world’s attention is focused on Serrana. Marco Borges, chief physician at the city’s public hospital, said he hoped for positive results and was optimistic. Noting that the first results will be evaluated within three months, Borges said, “The project will take a year, but we can reach the first findings in 12 or 13 weeks. We can see how the vaccine affects the transmission of the virus. get it, “he said.
Heat vaccination work continues in the city. Only people under the age of 18, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people with a recent fever are excluded from the vaccine. Chief physician Borges said he was looking forward to seeing the first results of the vaccinations in May, adding that there was not enough information today about whether herd immunity was possible with Covid-19. “Then everyone will be able to see how herd immunity works,” said Marco Borges.

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