News related to the new Covid variants are continuing. At the moment, Delta, Delta Plus and Kappa are in the spotlight, all of which are spreading on a large scale.
They are reaping infections in various countries of the world and could become prevalent on the global scene: several studies are underway to understand if the vaccines administered so far are effective also in these cases and news in this regard is expected shortly.
Doctor Bruno Zuccarelli, president of the Order of Surgeons and Dentists of Naples and its province, has raised the alarm on risky behaviors talking about the danger of a new wave of pandemic and declaring that he fears “that when the holidays return we will have a bad awakening from the dream of being there put the worst behind you ”. We interviewed Dr. Guido Marinoni, president of the Order of Doctors of Bergamo, asking him for an opinion.
Is there a concrete risk of a new wave of Covid here too?
The risk will certainly arise in autumn because there will be a different climate and people will spend more time in closed and humid places, which constitute a more risky environment for the circulation of droplets, i.e. the largest droplets of saliva, forcefully expelled by nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Of course we hope that this new wave, which will almost certainly happen, does not have the serious consequences that characterized the previous ones, that is, that there are not so many deaths and so many hospitalizations. And this is a function of the vaccination campaign.
Explain to us
If we managed to protect all over 60s – or rather all over 50s – a probable new wave would not have such serious consequences for life and for the need for hospitalization. Everything lies in making them immune, if not from infection at least from the risk of contracting the disease in a severe form, a protection that current vaccines guarantee: we hope that no new variants will emerge that can escape vaccines. This is an unpredictable aspect, the hope is that it will not happen but it cannot be excluded that it may happen.
And how is the vaccination campaign going?
It is progressing well but we are not yet at the goal I mentioned earlier. There are openings among the over 60s that must necessarily be protected and the same consideration applies to the over 50s. If we could also vaccinate the younger age groups, then, we would arrive at the safety of each one because, sometimes, they occur severe forms even among younger people: numerically they are fewer but should not be underestimated. There is also another very important aspect to be considered.
There would be less circulation of the virus, which would also serve to avoid the formation of outbreaks in schools: it is a particularly important aspect in view of the resumption of the school year and to achieve this goal, children must also be vaccinated. That’s not all: with a lower circulation of the virus statistically, the chances that it can mutate and that variants will be generated would be reduced, it being understood that we will have to live with the Coronavirus for a long time.
What are the prospects?
Until we have also vaccinated the poorest countries such as India, Brazil and Africa, we will not be able to eliminate the circulation of the virus and the development of variants. This will result in the need to adapt the vaccines and to begin to think about the booster dose that will likely engage in a manner to be defined throughout 2022: there are still no official indications from the health authorities but in all likelihood it will be so.
There is a lot of discussion about health professionals who do not adhere to vaccination. What is the position of the Order towards them?
The role of the Order is that of acknowledgment. The procedure requires the ATS to individually call doctors who have deferred or have not yet received the vaccination. To be permanently or temporarily exempted from vaccination, the healthcare professional must present a certificate issued by their general practitioner, which is produced in very particular situations: personal beliefs are not valid and even self-certification is not allowed.
What happens at this point?
Once this step has been completed, the Ats will send the list of the names of the health professionals who have not been vaccinated to the Order to which they belong. The Orders do not have the task of entering into the merits of the motivations, nor of calling them, hearing them and discussing the matter with them: they will simply take note of the list, take it to the council and suspend them from the profession with a resolution. The provision will be valid until they undergo vaccination or in any case until 31 December, the date on which the decree will expire.
Is it a de facto mandatory requirement?
The compulsory provision in legal terms has problems of constitutionality. In this case, vaccination is a requirement of eligibility for carrying out the profession: no one is obliged to get vaccinated but not even to work in the health system, it is a fundamental aspect for securing operators and above all citizens.
What does suspension from the Order entail?
Inhibits from carrying out work. An interpretation of the text of the law had hypothesized that it would result in the suspension from activities in contact with the public, then a clarification by the Ministry of Health intervened with which it was specified that the suspension of the exercise of the profession must be understood noted in the register.
To conclude, are the numbers relating to the Bergamo area already known?
Not yet. The Region received from the Orders of doctors, nurses and health workers the lists relating to the members, compared them with that of the vaccinated and sent them to the ATS. The Health Protection Agency must summon them one by one to ascertain the reasons why they have not yet been vaccinated or do not intend to receive the vaccination and this phase is not so fast: when it has completed these steps and will send us the list we will proceed with the expected procedure. Looking at the province of Bergamo, according to the signs that we have been able to see so far, the impression is that the doctors who have decided not to get vaccinated are few.
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