João C B Freitas

Conference 2022 Poster Presentation

Project title

Science and Politics: the Butantan experiment in Serrana, State of São Paulo

Authors and Affiliations

João Cenamo Baldi de Freitas1, 2, Fernanda de Castro Nakamura1, 3

1. São Paulo State University “Júlio Mesquita Filho” – UNESP, Franca campus, São Paulo State, Brazil.
2. Department of Law Graduation
3. Department of Education, Social Sciences and Public Policies



In the face of the Brazilian Federal government declarations and politics about the pandemic in Brazil, this work aims to analyze and explain how the vaccination study from Butantan Institute held in the city of Serrana (State of São Paulo) contested those public actions. The study has as an object how the mass vaccination could contribute to the combat of the spread of the coronavirus, during 2020, and its implications during 2021.


It was performed a comparative analysis was made between the Brazilian Federal government’s political speeches and the science behind the Covid – 19 vaccine, having as a basis the massive vaccination in Serrana, State of São Paulo, highlighting that science uses and needs a method to test and prove it’s ideas, acting in the opposite direction when compared to opinions.


The massive vaccination decreased the number of deaths and ICU beds used for Covid-19. Therefore, Serrana did not have its health system collapsed as in many other regions in Brazil. But, because of the political actions against the vaccination and the ideology behind the federal government measures, people of Serrana stopped to use their masks and to prevent themselves against Covid-19, including those people that did not take the vaccination from Butantan study. The current result is an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases, and the alert for the Ômicron. This scenario emphasizes the importance of public politics in the health area, mostly considering the pandemic context and the Brazilian constitutional health right appurtenant to citizens.


First, we can say that political statements had a negative impact on people´s social behavior, especially about the vaccination during the pandemic. On the other hand, the mass vaccination experiment had demonstrated that the vaccination is the most powerful measure against infectious diseases like Covid-19. Thus, we have to emphasize that the vaccination is effective if the population is really aware of its social role in protecting and preventing diseases, which can only be done through a policy aligned to science.