80% of Italians will be vaccinated by the end of September and with this in mind we are beginning to think of a new phase, moving from the large vaccination hubs to a greater involvement of general practitioners, pediatricians and pharmacies, also in view of the possibility of having to proceed with a third dose to cope with the variants of the Covid.
Over 13 million vaccinated, almost one in 4 Italians (24.01%), with over 22 million doses arriving in June and the threshold of administrations stable above 500 thousand per day, the Commissioner for the emergency Francesco Figliuolo indicates the plan for the autumn . The opportunity to take stock of the first three months at the helm of the commissioner structure and trace the lines of those that will come after the summer, is offered by the hearing in the Chamber of the Budget Commission, where the Sostegni decree is under discussion. By September 30, the general says, we will have vaccinated 80% of the population, that is 54.3 million Italians including those between 12 and 15 years old, for whom only Pfizer’s vaccine is currently authorized. with Moderna which today asked the EMA for authorization also for adolescents.
To achieve the end-of-September target, however, the Commissioner underlines, it is necessary to continue along the path taken: collaboration with the Regions, whose involvement is of “vital importance”, “flexible” procedures for bookings in August, maintain targets of at least 500 thousand bites a day, continue to “privilege” the administration to the over 60s and the frail. On this last point, Figliuolo proudly claimed the results obtained with the ordinances that reaffirmed the priorities of the plan: from 10 April to 2 June there was an increase of 22.58% of first doses administered to over 80s. , 63.24% in the 70-79 range and 56.4% in the 60-69 range. A new strategy will be needed with the autumn. That starts from overcoming the emergency management of the pandemic.
The “powerful and complex” machine of the commissioner that is managing mass vaccination has been and is an “effective and extraordinary” tool, says Figliuolo. But this machine “in the coming months must gradually lead” to an ordinary management of health care activities by the competent central and local administrations. All interventions, choices and decisions taken by the Commissioner in the “most critical and dark” period will have to go back to the State structures that have competence in the matter.
The general does not indicate a date but makes his idea understood: a progressive absorption of the commissioner structure in the Civil Protection, which will deal with procurement, logistics and distribution of devices and vaccines, and return to the territories of the management of all health aspects. In any case, the government will decide by 31 July, when it will have to decide whether to launch a new state of emergency and for how long, through a parliamentary passage. Ordinary management also brings with it the overcoming of hubs. In essence, there will be a “gradual but necessary” transition from vaccinations carried out in a centralized manner to a system of “delocalized vaccinations, much more widespread and close to citizens”, using family doctors, pediatricians and pharmacies. The reason is clear: complete the immunization of the frail and over 60 who have not yet been intercepted and who can then be reached at home.
But the ordinariness must also be considered in the light of the possibility of having to proceed with a third dose of the vaccine. At the moment, the belief of most scientists is that immunity has a duration of about a year and, therefore, it is necessary to “organize ourselves for the recalls” says the general who just today had a meeting with the Ministry of Health and Protection Civil on how to organize and manage this new phase, also in light of the variants that continue to mutate the virus. Fundamental on this aspect will be the role of the Higher Institute of Health which will soon launch a tracking and sequencing project that has such a scientific value as to continue to study how the virus circulates and how it evolves.
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