A preliminary study on the Curevac’s Covid vaccine demonstrated an effectiveness of 47%, a figure that does not reflect the established statistical criteria for success. The approval of the Curevac vaccine, at mRna like Pfizer and Moderna, by the EMA recedes. And the hypothesis that Italy can receive the doses scheduled for the second quarter must be set aside. Just as the possibility of receiving the vaccine in the coming months could also be excluded, provided that the definitive data confirm those so far disclosed by the German pharmaceutical company. At this point the distribution of the Curevac vaccine in the EU is in doubt, despite the Union having signed an agreement for over 400 million doses, 180 of which are optional.
The Curevac vaccine was considered essential in the EU for two reasons: on the one hand, the limitations imposed by many countries on AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, especially as regards the administration to the youngest, as has just happened in Italy. On the other hand, the intention to invest more and more in messenger RNA vaccines also for the probable third dose. In addition, the European order was also followed by a memorandum of understanding with the German government for the supply of a further 20 million doses. As far as Italy is concerned, the delivery of about 30 million doses was expected. Based on the updated tables as of April 23, we see what impact the stop of the Curevac vaccine can have on the Italian campaign.
How much does Curevac affect the Italian vaccination plan
According to the last table of the vaccination plan, updated on 23 April, on Curevac vaccine it should have arrived in Italy already in the second quarter of 2021, or by the end of June. Date by which Italy expected 7.31 million doses. Obviously never arrive, considering that the vaccine has not been approved by the EMA and neither will it be (at least not soon). For this quarter, therefore, the doses certainly will not arrive, but they would have been very useful especially when Italy needs millions of doses more both for the first administration to the under 60s and for the second to the same age group. with the stop decided for AstraZeneca. Italy will therefore have to focus only on Pfizer and Moderna doses, but it must be said that the commissioner structure did not seem to rely on Curevac for the month of June and to replace the AstraZeneca doses.
Curevac vaccine doses planned for the third trimester
In the third quarter of 2021 another 6.64 million doses of the German vaccine should have arrived in Italy. From July to September, however, Italy should receive a good number of doses between Pfizer (31 million expected, more or less the same as in the previous quarter) and Moderna which should practically triple deliveries, going from 4.6 to 14 million ( provided that the forecasts updated in April are respected). In addition, this quarter is also expected to receive many doses of Johnson & Johnson, a vaccine on which, however, remains the unknown factor of the recommendation not to administer it to those under 60 years of age.
The role designed for Curevac for the third dose
The impression is that the lack of approval of the vaccine Curevac does not have such a significant impact on the vaccination campaign Italian from now to September, also considering the fact that, up to now, this vaccine has not been relied upon for the calculations concerning the administration. Commissioner Figliuolo’s goal remains to vaccinate 80% of Italians by the end of September. We would then arrive at the fourth quarter, when the first part – the massive one – of the campaign would be over. And Italy could, if all goes well, start thinking about the third dose. From that moment on, the whole EU seems to want to focus on the doses of Pfizer, thus making the doses of Curevac less decisive (almost 8 million were expected at the end of the year). Moreover, it is plausible that in that phase, between October and December, Italy will need fewer doses, including those to be inoculated for those who have not yet been vaccinated (hopefully a small slice of the population) and the few who will already need to receive. the third dose, or those who were vaccinated in the very first months of 2021, when the doses available to Italy were still few and the numbers were significantly lower.