2021-10-11 12:20:35 Pfizer to Vaccinate Entire City of Toledo in Brazil As Part of Study
Pfizer to Vaccinate Entire City of Toledo in Brazil As Part of Study
There isn’t much vaccine skepticism in Toledo, a city in southwestern Brazil. According to municipal officials, approximately 98 percent of eligible residents have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine.
Most received the Pfizer vaccine, and the drugmaker said this week that it presented an opportunity: Pfizer announced that it would fully vaccinate everyone over the age of 12 in the city so that it could conduct a study of the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.
According to Pfizer, the company will collaborate with local health officials, a hospital, a university, and Brazil’s national vaccination program to monitor coronavirus transmission in a “real-life scenario” after the entire population has been vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech serum.
The participants in the study will be followed for up to a year to see how long vaccine protection against Covid-19 and new virus variants lasts.
“Here in Toledo, we believe in science, and we mourn the nearly 600,000 deaths caused by Covid-19 in Brazil,” Toledo Mayor Beto Lunitti said in announcing the Pfizer study.
The research follows the experimental immunization of nearly every adult in the southeastern Brazilian town of Serrana. That experiment was thought to be the first of its kind, in which an entire town was vaccinated against the coronavirus ahead of the rest of the country.
The experiment in Serrana lasted three months, in the winter and spring. Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine was tested in the town of 45,000 people. It was a resounding success, with significant reductions in new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths at a time when the rest of Brazil was gripped by the pandemic.
Brazil has had one of the world’s highest pandemic death tolls. According to a New York Times database, approximately 600,000 people in Brazil have died as a result of Covid-19. Despite the fact that many experts believe the true death toll is higher, this is the world’s second-highest death toll. Over 710,000 Americans have died as a result of the disaster.
Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s president, has been ambivalent about the importance of vaccines. Many Brazilians have expressed outrage over their government’s slow acquisition of vaccines, as well as a corruption scandal involving vaccine deals.
Brazil is only the second country in the world to have more than 600,000 COVID deaths, trailing only the United States with 713,000, but one city in the South American country is about to take a major stand against the virus. According to the New York Times, Pfizer will collaborate with health officials and various institutions to vaccinate all residents aged 12 and up in Toledo, located in the western part of Parana state, in order to study the effectiveness and safety of its COVID vaccine in a “real-world scenario,” Pfizer says that once all eligible participants have received their shots, it will monitor them for a year to see how the vaccine performs over time and against any variants.
“Here we believe in science, and we lament the almost 600,000 deaths from COVID-19 in Brazil,” Toledo Mayor Beto Lunitti said in a statement announcing the study. The vaccination portion of the experiment, which will involve local health authorities, a hospital, and a government university, should not be difficult to sell in the 143,000-person city, which will be aided by the nation’s national vaccine program. According to Reuters, skepticism about the vaccine is low in Toledo, where 98 percent of the eligible population has received at least one dose of the Pfizer, AstraZeneca, or Sinovac vaccine. Approximately 56% are fully vaccinated.
During the winter and spring of this year, a similar experiment was conducted in the Brazilian town of Serrana, in the state of Sao Paulo, where nearly every adult in the town of 45,000 received the Sinovac vaccine. According to the Associated Press, Brazil’s Butantan Institute, a biological research hub, reported before the summer that symptomatic cases, hospitalizations, and deaths dropped dramatically after the mass vaccination, returning the town to “near normal,” While the New York Times reports that Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has been “ambivalent” about COVID vaccines, Reuters reports that more than 70% of the country’s residents have received at least one dose of vaccine. For comparison, the United States has a rate of 65 percent.