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COVID vaccines

Maskless in Brazil: Chinese vaccine creates pandemic oasis

Sinovac shot may be good enough to yield results despite 50% efficacy

Serrana residents can chat outdoors without masks thanks to the town's mass vaccination program. (Photo by Naoyuki Toyama)

SAO PAULO -- Serrana, a town about a four-hour drive from the city of Sao Paulo, seems worlds away from the coronavirus outbreak overwhelming the rest of Brazil.

During a visit to the commuter town of about 45,000 last week, people chatted together cheerfully on benches along a major thoroughfare. No masks were in sight, thanks to a vaccination campaign that has successfully inoculated 97.7% of Serrana's adult residents with a Chinese-made shot and grabbed the attention of coronavirus researchers the world over.

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