Over more than three months, between January and April, several teams from the Butantan Institute traveled to Serrana to carry out a strategic part of Project S: vaccination against Covid-19 of the volunteer population of the clinical study.
Employees from different areas joined the 18 local coordinators, displaced from their duties to work in schools transformed into vaccination points, and to ensure that everything went right – from the assembly of the physical and technological infrastructure, through the dissemination of information to the transportation of samples of blood until, of course, the application of vaccines.
In São Paulo, Renata Giacon is secretary to the director of the Butantan Foundation. In Serrana, she was the coordinator of EE Jardim das Rosas. Renata says she was proud to be chosen to work on Project S and that the experience was incredible. “We all come back to other people. It was a lesson for life”, said the coordinator. “Bringing hope to people, always in search of doing good in the service of life, has left all of us, coordinators, even more excited, even more focused”, she added.
In addition to the dozens – and, in a few weeks, hundreds – of Butantan employees displaced to Serrana, Project S hired more than 400 professionals from Ribeirão Preto and the region to act in several functions: security guards, attendants, nurses and doctors. One of them was Leonardo Pozzi Marques Novo, who worked in the screening and release of pregnancy tests at EE Jardim das Rosas.
A recently graduated doctor, Leonardo says that working at Project S made him feel useful. For him, it was a way of giving back to society the training received. “Participating in a project like this, with such an important purpose, was a great emotion. The feeling is that we are winning this battle”, he says. The doctor recalls that, in the first week of vaccination, the volunteers were afraid and with doubts, but that afterwards the city embraced the idea and became engaged.
Thais Trevisan, also a doctor, responsible for the screening of volunteers at EE Deputado José Costa, recalled another positive point of vaccination: the absence of serious adverse effects among those immunized. “A very positive result from the project and the vaccine”, she said. Research assistant Pamela de Castro Silva, who received volunteers at EE Deputado José Costa, believes that the vaccination of Project S will contribute to the growth of Serrana. “The study will help with the movement of people and can bring more jobs”, she added.
For Viviane de Paula Francisco, who lives in Serrana, working at Projeto S was doubly rewarding: in addition to receiving volunteers at EMEF Professor Dilce Gonçalves Netto França, she was one of the residents vaccinated in clinical research. “It is a pride to be part of something that will go down in history. I helped my city”, she summarized, who was immunized in the Green Group, the first to be vaccinated.
The vaccination in Serrana ended on 4/11, but Leonardo Marques Novo recalls that immunization only happens two to three weeks after the second dose. And even after this period, it is necessary to continue wearing a mask, avoid crowding, maintain social distance and all sanitary measures, such as hand hygiene.
Project S vaccinated 27,150 people, which represents practically the entire adult population in the municipality of Serrana. The first conclusions of the clinical study are expected to be released in May.