“Go to the hospital and get vaccinated. Hurry up, no crowds.” With these words, published on his facebook profile when it was now after eight in the evening, the mayor Antonello Velardi gave yet another counterorder to the citizens of Marcianise. In the municipality of Caserta, yesterday was a field day for the vaccination campaign. In the end, late at night, 2,478 doses were administered. A remarkable result, but not everything went the right way. A communication short circuit meant that instead of going by age group, the ASL had to open vaccinations also to the many young people who had presented themselves in the hope of being immunized.
Where did the confusion come from? Let’s rewind the tape from the beginning. On Sunday evening some mayors of the area, including Velardi himself and the mayor of Portico, Giuseppe Oliviero, had communicated that on Monday, from 14 to 23, in Marcianise there would be an open vaccination day open to all, without reservation or age limits. Many users had stressed the “strangeness of communication” given that the vaccine used, AstraZeneca, was recommended by the Italian drug agency (Aifa) only for the over 60s, although there is no ban on using it under this age group. Yesterday morning the mayor Velardi communicated the partial about-face of the ASL on social media, informing citizens that the “vaccine day” at the Marcianise hospital was reserved only for citizens over 50 years old and shielding himself for the incorrect communication which, however, writes Velardi , “had been communicated to us by the health authority”. But now the omelette was done.
Marcianise: the AstraZeneca vaccine also administered to young people
Since the early afternoon a real crowd of people has formed, often young people who asked for the number in order to get the dose. According to what our colleagues told us on the spot, compliance with the ‘over 50’ limit was quickly lost. The tension that was created pushed the local ASL to take the decision to “vaccinate everyone”, taking other stocks than those imagined and lengthening the work of the infemieri. Which was supposed to end at 11pm and instead ended almost at dawn.
“People under the age of 50 responded better,” explained the manager of the Asl Michele Tari. “That is why it was decided to give them access to those who had booked”. The queue problem was also solved by “staggering people in time slots so that at the hospital there were only those who had to get the vaccine at a certain time”.
After all, explains Giuseppe Perrotta on CasertaNews, imagining sending back home so many people who had presented themselves risked creating “dangerous gatherings”. Thus, from the 600 doses provided, the ASL has decided to draw on stocks. Over two thousand, in the end, will be the doses administered.
The last dose was given after 3 am. A very long wait, spent between a chat and a pizza ordered with a mobile phone. At midnight there were still more than two hundred people waiting trying to keep as far away as possible to avoid too many close contacts. The tiredness in the eyes was palpable, as was the desire for normality. “Only in this way can we overcome this pandemic” the people still in line said late at night. In the end, the vaccine’s turn has come for everyone. And someone wanted to pay homage to the health workers with a ticket. “Thank you for giving us this extraordinary opportunity”. What is certain is that the decision not to proceed according to age groups will cause discussion. The general director of the ASL of Caserta Ferdinando Russo puts his hands forward: “We must face reality and understand that the virus is fought by vaccinating as many people as possible”. The initiative was instead appreciated by 17 mayors of municipalities in the Caserta area who wrote a letter to the general manager of the ASL of Caserta asking to replicate the open day even in small centers saying that they were available “to offer organizational and logistical support”.
“The smartest young people in fake news”
And the encore will apparently come. The confirmation comes directly from the Russian director who did not expect this exploit. “It happened that desires, apparently in contrast, merged together, turning into a great success, leading to the creation of a formula – says the director of the ASL -, a real format to be replicated in other cities of our province. and elsewhere too “.
“The dreaded waiting lines, suitably spaced, will be a moment of fun, relaxation and well-being, the celebration of the restart” explains the manager of the healthcare company. Which then praises the guys who joined the open day. “These young people under 30, so often accused of irresponsible conduct, have given the country a whammy, showing that they are smarter than fake news against this or that vaccine, confident in science and medicine, more cheerful, tolerant and participatory than other groups of age”.