“On the front of the new weekly cases – declares Nino Cartabellotta, President of the GIMBE Foundation – after 15 consecutive weeks of descent there is an increase of 5% compared to the previous week. Even the testing activity, after 7 weeks of decline, recorded an increase of 15.5%, continuing however to settle on too low numbers, with consequent underestimation of new cases and insufficient tracing of contacts ».

“The trend of hospitalized patients – says Renata Gili, Head of Research on Health Services of the GIMBE Foundation – it continues its descent both in the medical area and in intensive care, where the occupation of beds by COVID patients stands at 2%. All Regions record values ​​below 10% and there are 8 Regions that do not count COVID patients hospitalized in a critical area ».

In detail, from the peak of 6 April, the number of beds occupied in the medical area fell from 29,337 to 1,271 (-95.7%) and those in intensive care from 3,743 to 187 (-95%). The number of people in home isolation, from the peak of 28 March, went from 540,855 to 41,121 (-94.2%). «Daily admissions to intensive care – he explains Marco Mosti, Chief Operating Officer of the GIMBE Foundation – they have been down for over 3 months and the 7-day moving average is 5 entries / day ».

Delta variant. The latest flash survey by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità estimates the prevalence of the delta variant at 22.7% with significant regional differences (range 0-70.6%). “The data from England and those, albeit preliminary, from Israel – Gili points out – confirm the high efficacy of the complete vaccination cycle in preventing severe forms of COVID-19, hospitalizations and deaths. However, in our country, the Achilles heel of the vaccination campaign is currently represented by over 5.75 million over 60s at risk of serious illness without adequate coverage against the delta variant “.

In detail, 2.29 million (12.8%) have not yet received even one dose of the vaccine with significant regional differences (from 22.6% of Sicily to 7.7% of Puglia) and over 3.46 million (19.4%) must complete the cycle after the first dose: 2,495,962 with AstraZeneca, 837,052 with Pfizer-BioNTech, 128,878 with Moderna. Moreover, the trend of administration of the first doses by age group now confirms the flattening of the curves of the over 80s and the 70-79 and 60-69 age groups and has recorded a decline for over 4 weeks for the 50-59 age group and from about 2 weeks for the 40-49 range, albeit with considerable differences in the coverage percentages between the various personal categories.

Vaccination campaign criticality. A little more than 6 months after the start of the vaccination campaign, the GIMBE Foundation detects the following critical issues:
Availability of doses
o The number of delivered doses is significantly lower than expected: -14.266.090 (-50.5%) in the 1st quarter and -15.234.673 (-20%) in the 2nd quarter.
o Deliveries from manufacturing companies, with the exception of Pfizer / BioNTech, have been intermittent in timing and quantity, making regional planning more difficult.
o Despite a substantial residual availability (over 3.36 million doses as of July 7, 2021), the adenoviral vector vaccines are not able to be adequately used due to changes in the indications for use by age groups and due to the growing distrust of the population , making the campaign increasingly dependent on mRNA vaccines.
• Slowdown in the administration of the first doses
o The acceleration of the vaccination campaign starting from April determines at this time the need to administer a high number of boosters, reducing in the short term the possibility of carrying out first doses in the under 50s, also given the uncertainty about the supply of next months which leads to set aside large quantities for the administration of second doses.
o In the over 50s, especially in the 50-59 and 60-69 range, vaccination hesitation is evident, in particular for adenoviral vector vaccines, the result of fake news and institutional communication unable to convey the risk-benefit profile of vaccination which may vary in relation to the epidemiological context. Furthermore, despite the claims, a true active calling strategy never took off nationwide.

«The increase in cases resulting from the spread of the delta variant – concludes Cartabellotta – destined to continue in the coming weeks must not generate alarmism. Certainly, the data is worrying about its potential impact on hospitals which will be inversely proportional to the complete vaccination coverage of the over 60s. This is why, in addition to enhancing contact tracing and sequencing, it is necessary to implement active call strategies for the over 60s and not are still booked, both speed up the administration of second doses. Finally, we are all called to actively contribute to slowing down the spread of the delta variant by maintaining responsible behavior and avoiding the mistakes of last summer ».

Renata Gili, Head of Research on Health Services of the GIMBE Foundation Listen or download

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