News – Update

Experimental study in Serrana (Brazil)

In this small town in the state of San Pablo, the entire adult population began to be vaccinated with the Coronavac vaccine from the Chinese laboratory Sinovac to analyze the impact of immunization on the control of the pandemic. The two doses will be vaccinated to 30,000 of the 50,000 inhabitants, under the coordination of the Butantan Institute (Vaccine Research and Production Centre). The study will be extended for one and a half years to identify the rate of transmission of coronavirus in an immunized population, the behavior against variants of the virus, the number of people to be vaccinated to disrupt virus circulation and the economic impact of this strategy. To vaccinate the population in eight weeks the city was divided into four sectors. Pregnant women, people with serious illnesses and minors will not participate. Currently Serrana has the highest number of contagion in the municipalities of São Paulo.

Disputes over herd immunity

The concept of “herd immunity” originates from studies carried out in herds of animals exposed to viruses such as coil plague and foot-and-mouth disease. Keeping livestock in pens makes it easy to measure how quickly the disease spreads from one animal to another. With human beings it is complex, mainly because of mobility. The range of 60% to 70% is accepted by many epidemiologists, including WHO. Anthony Fauci (US) now believes it will take about 90%, a percentage similar to what is needed to stop a measles outbreak (The New York Times).

COVID-19 and World Health Organization targets to combat Tuberculosis

Due to the impact of the pandemic by COVID-19, the WHO global report on Tuberculosis (2020) includes an interim assessment of how the pandemic will affect the Tuberculosis  epidemic, and progress towards the global Tuberculosis targets.

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse recent progress in reducing the global burden of Tuberculosis disease.

The global number of tuberculosis deaths is estimated to increase by about 0.2 million to 0.4 million in 2020 alone, related to disruption of health services, reduction of timely diagnoses, reallocation of health facilities originally intended for tuberculosis and now targeted for the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the worsening economy in countries, which has a direct impact on unemployment, GDP per capita and malnutrition. On the other hand, data collection and reporting have also been affected in many countries.

In 2014, the World Health Organization adopted the “End Tuberculosis Strategy” aimed at ending the global epidemic by 2035. This strategy involves the efforts of the countries of the world, together with prevention, timely diagnosis, therapeutic advances and the development of new effective vaccines.

The goals of “ending the global tuberculosis epidemic” by 2035 agreed by the WHO and the member countries of the UN, can hardly be met, as this will require intensified strategies, taking into account the current pandemic by COVID19, that delays progress.

World Heart Organization. Global Tuberculosis report 2020. Executive Summary. 2020. Consulted 10/20/2020.


Telomere length is a marker of biological age that can be affected by dietary factors through oxidation and inflammation mechanisms. The consumption of ultra-processed foods that has increased worldwide has been associated with the risk of developing several diseases. High consumption of ultra-processed foods accelerates aging by shortening telomeres.

Am J Clin Nutr . 2020 Jun 1;111(6):1259-1266. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqaa075.


52 Rhesus macaques were immunized with Ad26 vectors encoding S variants or simulated control and challenged with SARS-CoV-2 via intranasal and intratracheal pathways. The vaccine induced solid neutralizing antibody responses and provided complete or near-complete protection in bronchoalveolar lavage. Ad26.COV2-S is an attenuated adenovirus. Published in the journal Nature.

Mercado, N.B., Zahn, R., Wegmann, F. et al. Single-shot Ad26 vaccine protects against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques. Nature (2020).