“The Ausl has worked in perfect good faith to give an extra service. This time it has underestimated the aggregation capacity that these initiatives have”. The mayor of Bologna Virginio Merola apologizes after the incredible scenes this morning at the hub of the Fair for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine open day during which 1,200 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine were scheduled to be administered, then doubled.
Comments, videos and photos made the tour of Italy after being uploaded on social media to comment on the post of the president of the Bonaccini Region which highlighted the success of the initiative.
Many had waited for the night in line violating the curfew, thousands more – mostly young people – gradually gathered in front of the entrances, sending any organization attempt into crisis, so much so that the carabinieri had to intervene.
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“New concept of tonnara. Total failure in the organization!” we read in the comments with the most asking to restrict the ranges for events such as today’s where no reservation was required. In fact, we witnessed a real assault with moments of tension that led the local health authority to increase the number of injections of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, passing from the original 1,200 to 2,400 and then to 3,000.
What happened in Bologna
The vaccine day with no reservations and no age groups, started very early with a consistent influx – started before midnight – growing by the hour with thousands of people queuing. Especially young people who went to the Bolognese hub during the night to be vaccinated. Around midnight there were already about forty people arriving at the fair: the first to arrive wrote their name on a sheet of paper, creating a list to make the line as tidy as possible. Which, with the passing of the minutes and the increasingly consistent influx of hundreds of ‘vaccinated’ has not prevented some tensions from arising among the people in the queue – which has become very long with over 2,000 candidates lined up and growing exponentially at the first lights of ‘Sunrise.
Shortly after 8 – the time set for the opening of the vaccination hub – the arrival of some police officers, Carabinieri and Local Police and the blocking of portions of the route to the fair led to a more orderly flow.
“It was the first experience” of ‘Open Day’ in the region, observed the director general of the Ausl Paolo Bordon, “advertised since last night imagining that people did not circulate during curfew hours and would show up here after 5 am. . There was certainly an extraordinary turnout. We had foreseen 1,200 administrations but thanks to the availability of volunteers from the company, including a primary, who came to implement our supply of vaccinating staff we were able to guarantee up to 3,000 vaccinations “.
But obviously something went wrong in the organization. As we read in the comments of those who were there, everything was left at the mercy of improvisation. The municipal councilor Andrea Gurioli who had found himself in the crowd explains this well.
“That no one has at least thought of putting a dozen agents, barriers. This morning I arrived at 5.10 a group of guys had organized everything in a fantastic way. A list with the names, in order of arrival. Everything in order, a queue, etc. . A right idea. It is a pity that at 8.00, at the opening, when there were now thousands of people, whoever managed the entrance took the good idea of not using that list, the answer given: because it is an open day , there is no reservation. Who made that decision reminds me of the captain of the Titanic who increased the speed. At that point, the beasts, the usual phenomena arrived at 8.00 sharp, began to slip in, to push, to crowd. “
“Panic attacks, people crying, people falling. More and more crowded at the door – we read again – Fortunately, a small group of big boys takes control of the situation within the limits of their possibilities.”