Oct. 12, 2021 -- To test the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine in a “real-life scenario,” the pharmaceutical company Pfizer says it will fully vaccinate everybody over 12 in the Brazilian city of Toledo.
Pfizer will work with local health officials, a hospital, a university, and the Brazilian vaccination program to monitor the population of 143,000 people for a year to see how long the vaccine is effective and whether it works against new variants, The New York Times reported.
“Here we believe in science and we lament the almost 600,000 deaths from Covid-19 in Brazil,” Toledo Mayor Beto Lunitti said, according to the Times.
A similar test was conducted last winter and spring in the Brazilian town of Serrana, where almost all of its 45,000 people received the Sinovac vaccine, which was developed by a Chinese company. The town reported big drops in deaths and hospitalizations, the Times said.
Brazil has recorded more than 600,000 COVID-related deaths, second only to the United States with 713,000.
Reuters said 98% of the people in Toledo have received a first dose of vaccine and 56% are fully vaccinated.
"The initiative is the first and only of its kind to be undertaken in collaboration with the pharmaceutical company in a developing country," Pfizer said in a statement.