05/16/2021 4:52 PM
Updated 05/16/2021 4:52 PM
Brazil, one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic in the world, vaccinated
all adults in a city
of 150,000 inhabitants
against covid-19 this Sunday
as part of an unpublished study that can provide global references on the effectiveness of the
The project, supported by the
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
and endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO), turned
, a medium-sized city in the interior of the Brazilian state of São Paulo, into a
for a "real life study" of immunization against covid-19.
Those responsible for the project set the goal of vaccinating about
80,000 people between 18 and 60 years old
corresponding to just over 80% of the 106,000 adults in Botucatu, a city located 237 kilometers from San Pablo, the largest Brazilian city, and which has the headquarters of important universities.
As those over 60 had already been vaccinated during the national immunization campaign that began on January 18, the expectation is that at least
of all adults in the city will be immunized by the end of this Sunday.
The campaign is part of a study promoted by the Ministry of Health and the Paulista State University (Unesp) to study the efficacy of mass immunization with the vaccine developed jointly by the
and the University of Oxford
, which also joined the experiment .
The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, linked to the Ministry of Health, the largest medical research center in Latin America and which has the license to manufacture 210 million doses of the Oxford vaccine in Brazil, is also promoting the experiment.
In this phase four study, in addition to verifying the ability of the Oxford vaccine to reduce cases, hospitalizations and deaths from covid-19, it is intended to analyze the efficacy of mass vaccination and that of the immunizer against the
of the coronavirus circulating in Brazil.
The experiment lasts
and includes the application of the two doses of the vaccine -with an interval of three months- and the monitoring of the health status of all those who were immunized, as well as that of the inhabitants of neighboring cities , which will be used as the
basis for a comparison
Those responsible for the study will carry out genetic sequences of the samples of all Botucatu residents who contract the virus after being immunized to identify the variants that continue to cause COVID-19 cases and try to identify genetic or behavioral characteristics that may influence the prevalence of infections.
The study can help define strategies to follow after vaccination against covid-19 in Brazil, the second country in the world in number of deaths from the disease, with about
, and the third in number of infections, with about
15.6 million cases
Brazil, with 84 million vaccines already distributed throughout the country from AstraZeneca, Sinovac and Pfizer laboratories, has already applied the first dose of immunizers to about 19% of its population and the two doses to almost 10%.
According to epidemiologist Cargos Magno Fortaleza, a Unesp researcher and one of the coordinators of the study, it is the
that a city with more than 100,000 inhabitants has been subjected to a type of experiment of this type in the world.
The researcher affirmed that Botucatu was chosen precisely because of its size so that the results of the study can give a "real dimension" of how a vaccine can impact on reducing the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths from covid-19, and should serve reference for other countries.
"All new cases that are notified and confirmed by the laboratory will be monitored and all the viruses responsible for these infections will be sequenced in order to identify the variants that continue to circulate and the most resistant ones," added Fortaleza.
The experiment is similar to one launched a few weeks ago in Serrana, another city in the interior of the state of Sao Paulo, although smaller, but with the difference that the vaccine developed by the Chinese laboratory Sinovac and the adult population was used in that municipality. she was immunized in a campaign that lasted almost a month.
The mayor of San Pablo, Bruno Covas, died at the age of 41
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