ReportageIn the State of Sao Paulo, the city of 45,000 inhabitants served as a pilot city for the Butantan Institute: almost all adults there have been vaccinated with Coronavac, from the Chinese laboratory Sinovac, making an oasis in a country ravaged by the epidemic.
And suddenly the din of ambulances was over. No more masks and hydroalcoholic gel. In public places, in the shade of large trees with bearded trunks, friends and relatives meet up kissing each other, even a big hug. Bistros and restaurants are open. We drink very cold beers there, in all carefree indoors and on the terrace.
This is not an archival film from the “world before”, but the very real daily life of a small Brazilian town. Serrana, located in the interior of the State of Sao Paulo, offers the passing visitor, in this month of June, an almost surreal face: that of a real oasis, in a country ravaged by the Covid epidemic. 19, which killed more than 475,000 people there.
But this relaxation is in no way the result of collective unconsciousness: in Serrana, 98% of the adult population is today vaccinated against Covid-19. In recent months, the city has served as a pilot city for the Butantan Institute, the local equivalent of Pasteur, placed under the authority of the State of Sao Paulo. The result is a dramatic drop in infections, hospitalizations and deaths.
“Capital of vaccination”
“We are proud! We are the capital of vaccination! The whole world knows us! “, breastplate Alisson, gently pedaling a bike with her brother Marjory in a street near the town hall. For their walk, the two young thirties, tattooed, marcel, cap and flip flops, left their mask at home. “Here, life is back to normal. We kiss. There are even quite a few parties ”, summarizes Alisson.
And for good reason: between February and May 2021, in Serrana, the number of deaths linked to Covid-19 plunged by 95%, that of hospitalizations by 86% and that of symptomatic cases by 80%, according to the Butantan. Impressive figures, especially since barely 4% of recipients presented significant side effects (headaches, muscle pain, etc.). “Me, I still felt fever, diarrhea and shortness of breath”, note Alisson.
“With us, the fear of the virus is gone”, rejoices, for her part, Julia, 23, who watches over children playing in the gravel near a small church painted in blue and white. A few meters away, on June 3, dozens of faithful celebrate Corpus Christi together, all masked. “But they only put it on because we forced them. Barely out, everyone takes off their mask! “, laughs Julia.
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