Reservations set up to May to be postponed or canceled, calls for at least 2 million and 300 thousand Italians to be managed, age groups to be reviewed. Yet another twist on the Astrazeneca vaccine, which will now be recommended for the over 60s after being recommended for the under 55s and then extended to all age groups, forces the government to get back to the vaccination plan, already changed three times since the start of the campaign in December. With the serum from the Anglo-Swedish company that will now be administered to 60-79 year olds.
“Soon there will be a circular with all the indications, we must be clear and clear” says the Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza at the end of a day of meetings with the experts, reiterating, however, that the executive’s priorities do not change: they must be put in place. safety the elderly and frail people. But beyond the decisions that will be taken in these hours, one fact is already clear and evident to everyone: the change in progress and, above all, the increasingly widespread fears among Italians, risk causing further slowdowns in vaccinations right at the moment. where it is essential to accelerate.
The numbers say that to date there are 8 million Italians who have received a first dose of the e vaccine 2,294,203 of them were given Astrazeneca serum. Not everyone is under 60, but most of them are. So the first decision that the government will have to take will be that relating to boosters, which according to AIFA’s indications must be made three months after the first dose: will the Anglo-Swedish company’s vaccine be administered to everyone anyway? Or only for the over 60s and for the younger ones will we proceed with another serum? How will we proceed with school personnel, armed forces and police forces, the priority categories to which Astrazeneca has so far been reserved?
“At the moment there are no elements to discourage the use of the second dose” explains the president of the Higher Health Council Franco Locatelli. It is therefore likely that those who have already taken the first dose will also receive the second, regardless of age. But it is the same Ema that does not exclude the hypothesis of the ‘mix’ between different vaccines: “it could be effective” says the president of the safety committee Sabine Straus, adding however that at the moment “there are still no data available”.
The second problem, which risks seriously compromising the vaccination campaign at least in the immediate future, thus forcing the government to also review the plans for reopening, is instead linked to the fear that not too much is spreading under the radar and that leads Italians to desert. vaccination centers.
In Lombardy, explains the Lombard CTS member Carlo Signorelli, 15-16% of those booked did not show up. And at the Asl Napoli 1, on Tuesday, 800 out of 4 thousand booked have deserted vaccination. Warning signs that could increase in the coming days and against which, unfortunately, the reassurances of the experts are of little use.
“The vaccine can be used in all population groups” says the director of AIFA Nicola Magrini while the virologist Andrea Crisanti recalls that “taking a plane has a risk of thrombosis 100 times higher than making a vaccine”. The regional presidents themselves understood this perfectly, together with Anci and Upi, they met the ministers of regional affairs Mariastella Gelmini and of health Roberto Speranza and the emergency commissioner Francesco Figliuolo, precisely to understand how to modify the plan and not go in no particular order.
“We risk having vaccines that we can’t inject because people don’t want them“, says the governor of Friuli Massimiliano Fedriga, expressing everyone’s fear. In the refrigerators of the Regions to date there are at least 1.8 million doses of Astrazeneca. To prevent them from remaining there, the solution identified by Figliuolo is to administer it as of the next few hours. to the 60-79 year old category. “An audience – underlines the general in the meeting with the governors – of about 13 million people, two of whom have already had the first dose”.
But it will also be necessary to decide how to vaccinate all those who can no longer have Astrazeneca and, therefore, how to reshape the use of the other two vaccines currently available, Pfizer and Moderna. According to Luca Zaia, the real risk is that in the next month “we will only go on with the second doses”.
“We sail on sight” admits the governor of Veneto who asks if there will be new supplies from other pharmaceutical companies. But there is currently no certainty about the next deliveries, despite the fact that Italy should receive over 52 million doses in the second quarter. Astrazeneca, again she, has already made it known that on April 14 it will deliver 50% of what is expected, 175 thousand doses instead of 340 thousand (which, however, should be reinstated between 16 and 23 April). Pfizer has completed the distribution of another million and a half doses, which however only serves to give oxygen to the territories, while Moderna should deliver no earlier than the weekend. And Johnson & Johnson has already made it known that on the 16th it will not send more than 400 thousand doses. All elements that push further and further away the goal of 500 thousand vaccinations per day by mid-April.
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