Vaccini, Sicily slows down: professors and seventy-year-olds fleeing AstraZeneca

The good news is that 105,000 AstraZeneca doses have arrived on the island and 100,000 Pfizer will arrive by Wednesday. A batch that will allow bookings for over 80s and frail people to be restarted at full capacity on 8 April. The bad news is that in the last week, in contrast to other regions, Sicily has reduced the number of daily injections from 20 to 15 thousand and has slipped to thirteenth place in Italy for the percentage of vaccines administered compared to those received. A setback linked to the flurry of defections after the cases of suspicious deaths post-vaccine: yesterday hundreds of seventy-year-olds deserted the appointment in the parishes, and the Region has decided in the race to vaccinate even people between 65 and 69 without reservation years in order not to waste the defrosted doses. But the slowdown is also due to supply difficulties that pushed the goal of 50 thousand injections per day requested by the national emergency commissioner Francesco Paolo Figliuolo to the end of the month.

Guide to centers where to get vaccinated, over 80 structures open in Sicily

by Giusi Spica

01 April 2021


Teachers and seventy-year-olds on the run

In Sicily, six cases of death within 14 days from the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine reported to the Italian Medicines Agency are six. The last three concern two teachers (one of 46 in Palermo and one of 54 in Messina) and a seventy-year-old from Agrigento. All deaths would have occurred from thrombosis. The correlation with the vaccine has not been demonstrated, but the drop in reservations has been: “We have had 11 thousand cancellations and half of those booked show up every day”, confirms Mario Minore, head of the regional task force. Sicily is fifth from last in Italy for vaccinations on school staff: only 49 per cent of the 110,000 professional audience received the first dose, compared to an Italian average of 68 per cent. Light years away from Molise, which vaccinated 100 percent of the staff, or from Puglia, which reached 85 percent of the target.

Vaccini, the supply of Moderna arrives in Sicily: bookings restart, in April the aim is to reach 900 thousand administrations

by Giada Lo Porto

01 April 2021



Over 80 cercansi

Sicily is lagging behind in Italy for vaccinations on over 80s who are entitled to the Pfizer vaccine. Only 39.7 percent of the 320,000 over 80s received the first dose, compared to 70.9 percent in the Veneto. In Lazio, almost 90 percent of the 470,000 over 80s have booked and 342,000 have already given their first injection. The task force blames poor adhesion: “Since February 20 – explains Minore – we have made 270 thousand appointments available for the over 80 through Poste, but only 180 thousand have booked, less than 60 percent. From March 16, seeing a drop in bookings, we have opened agendas for fragile patients, which have filled the gaps in bookings for those over 80 “.

Palermo, 50,000 doses and 6,000 booked in the parishes. Four thousand injections made in Sicily

by Claudia Brunetto

03 April 2021



Escape from expectations

The Region is struggling to complete the vaccination program of the 20 thousand who have booked an appointment at home, but is suffering from the lack of mobile vaccination teams. In many large provinces, including Palermo, family doctors are waiting to get into the game. “They asked us to communicate availability by 1 April and we await information from the ASP on where and how to withdraw the doses”, confirms Giovanni Merlino, general practitioner and advisor to the Palermo Medical Association. But how do you explain the low participation of over 80 Sicilians? “Many elderly people – explains Merlin – are unable to stay four hours in a row in hubs or vaccination centers. Furthermore, a socio-cultural gap is discounted: in some neighborhoods of large cities there is less sensitivity to prevention”.

The charge of “others”

There is an entry in the national vaccines report in which Sicily stands out among all the regions. It is the “other” item which includes over 259 thousand administrations. “These are people between 70 and 79 for whom there is still no specific voice, fragile people between 16 and 69, but also caregivers and cohabitants of disabled people or representatives of law enforcement agencies wrongly cataloged”, explain by the task force . Among these there are also four thousand lawyers and magistrates whose vaccination has been stopped in the running following the new national plan which requires proceeding only for age groups.

The puzzle of deliveries

The “stop & go” is also linked to the lack of vaccines. 620,000 are expected for April: 450,000 Pfizer and 170,000 AstraZeneca. The Region plans to increase the doses up to 25-30 thousand a day from mid-month. The goal of 50 thousand daily doses postponed to the end of April and is linked to another game: the arrival of the first tranche of the new Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine. “But so far – says Minore – we have no news of imminent deliveries”.

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