Italy almost out of the tunnel. The credit is all of the vaccine

Italy almost out of the tunnel. The credit is all of the vaccine
Italy almost out of the tunnel. The credit is all of the vaccine

Italy closer to the finish line thanks to vaccines. And for experts, even in the face of a rise in the epidemic curve, lockdowns like those imposed in the first phase of the pandemic must not be returned. Covid19 regains strength in many areas, but in countries that have wider vaccination coverage the process towards coronavirus endemization is now almost complete.

What does it mean? The virus will continue to circulate, but hopefully it won’t cause more damage than a trivial flu. It is not yet possible to set aside the protective measures, but the picture painted by the experts who took part in the Bologna Medical Science Festival is not dramatic. “Soon we will have more protection from Covid than from the flu,” says Stanford epidemiologist John Ioannidis who obviously indicates the way out of the pandemic in the vaccine. “We are 40% of the vaccinated world population, I doubt that we will be able to reach 70% in the short term, but vaccines can lead us towards an endemic situation in which we will risk less contracting the Sars Cov2 virus, provided, of course, that no new mutations occur », the scientist warns.

At first, the experts’ calculations and forecasts were unfortunately sometimes incorrect, admits Ioannidis, “due to often insufficient data and lack of transparency, but we are improving”, assures the US epidemiologist who says he is convinced that at least in some areas among which Italy is close to endemization. Ioannidis also went back to underlining how some measures, such as the lockdowns imposed on entire nations, have not “led to major improvements, while for example stopping major events has proved effective”. No to too stringent measures and no even to the closure of schools: “It was a wrong choice, considering the devastating impact on the well-being of both children and their families” concludes Ioannidis.

The forthcoming endemization of Covid is also taken for granted by Gianni Rezza, director general of Prevention of the Ministry of Health who stresses that “thanks to the containment measures first and then to the vaccines, we have avoided the great wave, the one that would have saturated the hospitals, it would have congested them, it would have caused many deaths not only because of Covid directly “. Even if the virus will tend to endemic, however, it cannot be excluded that «outbreaks, more or less small», says Rezza. And for this reason “it is good that in addition to vaccines, monoclonal antiviral drugs are also developed, capable, in cases where vaccination coverage is lacking for some individuals, to deal with some success with people who will get sick”. The goal for Rezza is “coexistence with the virus”.

The Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, insists on accelerating the vaccination campaign, speaking at the 19th health law conference in Milan. “In a phase of resurgence of the virus like the one we are witnessing at the European level at the moment, it is right to speed up the administration of boosters”, says the minister, underlining that “the 2 million third doses administered have been exceeded”. However, the knot of unvaccinated diehards remains: the number of the first doses administered daily continues to decrease. There are still too many over 50s completely uncovered, over two and a half million people. Speranza reiterated the need for Europe to stand in solidarity and share rules and solutions. The fact that the measures on the pandemic at the European level “are not homogeneous” represents an obstacle, the minister insists, hoping for the “European Health Union” and a stronger role for Ema so that it is “capable of determining choices at the European level”.

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