“We certainly have to vaccinate as much as possible. And if the target of 90 per cent of the immunized population is reached, we will be able to think about reopening everything, eliminating the limitations ”. Professor Franco Locatelli, coordinator of the Technical Scientific Committee, yesterday opened the work of the G20 of Health Ministers underway in Rome, at the Capitoline Museums. But while he talks about the need to vaccinate all continents and guarantee health care even to the poorest countries, he cannot fail to analyze the current Italian phase between the Green pass and the hypothesis of making the vaccine mandatory.
Professor, yesterday in an interview with the Messaggero, the councilor for Health of Lazio, Alessio D’Amato, said: let’s give ourselves a goal and allow the Regions that vaccinate 90 percent of the population to reopen everything and renounce the Green pass, as Denmark is doing.
“In what Councilor Alessio D’Amato says there is some truth, when he says” the more we can vaccinate, the more we can reopen. ” I would not have the slightest hesitation in subscribing to this part. But I don’t think we can think of regional percentages. I believe that everything should only be reopened if 90% of the immunized population is on a national basis. But let me remove a pebble from my shoes: when we made certain choices of gradual reopening, there were those who had foreseen 30-40 thousand infections a day. Also thanks to the Italians, who were careful, it did not go like this ».
Will we be able to give up the Green pass with more people vaccinated like Denmark is doing?
“I would be much more cautious about this. I know that there are those who believe that the Green Pass is only one way to encourage vaccination, but I am convinced that it is also an important public health tool. True, it doesn’t guarantee 100 percent that you won’t be infected, but I have little doubt that it drastically reduces the risk. I am in favor of an even more extensive application of the Green pass ».
“To the public administration but also to the police”.
Prime Minister Draghi has opened up to the mandatory nature of the vaccine.
«Even Minister Speranza clearly said that it is a viable option. Article 32 of the Constitution reaffirms that health is a good for the individual but it is also a public good, for the community. I believe that mandatory is a rational option, to be considered in order to reduce viral circulation. But it cannot be an indication of the CTS, it is a choice that belongs to politics. I would point out that Italy has already led the way with the obligation for health workers ».
Schools will reopen soon, but nothing has changed compared to a year ago.
“But is not so. Today, around 90 percent of school staff are immunized with at least one dose. As for the students, between the ages of 15 and 17 received at least one dose over 70 percent; between the ages of 12 and 14 we are at 50 percent. This is an extraordinary change compared to last year ».
Are you worried by the news coming from the US about the increase in child hospitalizations for Covid?
“Look that even in Italy the numbers of Covid cases in pediatric age are growing, so I am in favor of the vaccine also for children when there is one authorized. A recent study speaks of long covid consequences also in children ».
Vaccine protection is beginning to decline among the first immunized. Will there be a third dose for everyone?
«Let’s clarify some data: we have the so-called decay of the protective cover above all in terms of antibody titer and maybe there is a lowering, but not so sensational, of efficacy against infection. There is currently no decline against the development of severe disease. Having said this, it is true that there is a final reflection, with a favorable opinion also from the Scientific Technical Committee, for the administration of an additional dose to subjects who have forms of immunosuppression. And a reflection has also begun for people over 80 in RSA or for subjects such as health workers who have certain roles in contact with the sick. But it is not at all obvious that the third dose will be necessary for the entire population. It should also be said that if it were to serve, Italy has sufficient doses for the next two years for all citizens ”.
Professor, at the summit of the G20 health ministers the first speech was yours. How can inequalities be overcome during a pandemic?
«I had the privilege and the honor of making the official intervention to open the G20 work on health. I think the meeting was an important moment because it took stock of the situation on the impact of the pandemic on the sustainable development goals. In 2015, the United Nations set the 2030 agenda for 17 sustainable development goals. Obviously health has a strong role, think that the first two objectives are for example dedicated to the fight against poverty and the elimination of hunger in the world, in which the connections with health are evident. But the third is specifically dedicated to health. One of the qualifying points is to guarantee universal health coverage, when the plan was launched there were 400 million people in the world without health coverage, while access to good care systems should be a human right “.
What can be done?
«Important investments are needed, a crisis such as that of the pandemic has had a very strong impact, unfortunately. Everyone agrees on the fairness of access to vaccines. In my speech, I mentioned that the pandemic has disrupted childhood immunization programs for other diseases in 70 countries, such as polio, tetanus, hepatitis and measles, to name a few. Healthcare expenses must never be considered a cost, but always and in any case evaluated as an investment. Guaranteeing the vaccine to everyone, beyond obvious humanitarian reasons, serves to limit viral circulation and also serves to reduce the risk of new variants emerging ».
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