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FIVE STAR MOVEMENT

Anti-vaxxers not welcome here, says gelateria owner

The owner of a gelateria in the North of Italy has sparked heated debate after he displayed a sign outside his ice cream parlour telling anti-vaccination campaigners they are not welcome there.

Anti-vaxxers not welcome here, says gelateria owner
Photo: ezoom100/Depositphotos

“Free-vax, no-vax, you are a danger to the community you live in,” reads the sign outside Cremeria Spinola in the town of Chiavari in Genova, the text of which was also posted to the shop’s Facebook page.

“Your innocent children should be kept out of the schools where, in addition to their own lives, they will put at risk the lives of almost 10,000 immunosuppressed children who can’t get vaccinated.”

“I don’t want your homicidal laws in my country and I don’t need your money. You're not welcome in my ice cream parlour” the notice concludes.

The gelateria's owner, Matteo Spinola, 43, told La Repubblica that he does not have children of his own but that he shares the concerns of his friends who do have children and felt that he could not keep silent after Italy's mandatory vaccination law was overturned this week.

The Milleproroghe decree, approved by the Italian Senate on Monday, weakens the Lorenzin decree of July 2017, which made it compulsory for children under 16 to be vaccinated against ten common diseases before they were allowed to enroll in school.

For the coming school year Italian children will be able to attend school without their parents providing proof of vaccination.

Vaccination has become a divisive issue in Italy in recent months, with several key figures in the country's populist Five Star Movement-League coalition government expressing scepticism about its value.

Davide Barillari, a Five Star Movement councillor for the region of Lazio, came under fire for writing a Facebook post on Monday in which he posed the question “When was it decided that science was more important than politics?”, and declared “Politics comes before science.”

Italy’s Five Star Movement Health Minister Giulia Grillo raised eyebrows for telling Corriere della Sera in an interview yesterday that deaths from measles was something Italy would have to accept, saying, “You can not delude people that nobody will die. We must be realistic.”

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TUSCANY

‘Stressed’ nurse gave four, not six, doses of Pfizer vaccine to Italian woman

A 23-year-old woman who was mistakenly injected with too many shots of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine was given four, rather than six doses, Italian health authorities said Tuesday.

'Stressed' nurse gave four, not six, doses of Pfizer vaccine to Italian woman
A patient was given four doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in a correction by health authorities. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)

The woman received the extra doses from a nurse who failed to dilute the doses, injecting her by accident with three more than intended.   

Health authorities initially said the woman, a clinical psychology intern, received six doses, but corrected their mistake on Tuesday.

They added that the discovery that it was four was “important” because Pfizer has previously run tests on the simultaneous injection of four doses.

Those tests found no “particular consequences” for patients, a local health body in the central Italian region of Tuscany said in a statement Tuesday.

The accidental injection took place on Sunday in a hospital in Massa city in northwestern Tuscany. The mistake was immediately noticed and the patient was kept under observation.

READ ALSO: Covid antibodies last 8 months after infection, Italian study finds

She was discharged after 24 hours and “is feeling fine but is still closely monitored”, the health authority said.

In an interview with Corriere della Sera newspaper, the woman, identified only by her first name Virginia, said that after the incident she had a headache, felt exhausted and shivered.

She said she had no plans to press charges, adding: “These things can happen, we all make mistakes, no harm was meant.”

The health authority blamed the mistake on human error, saying the nurse was stressed, and that it was working to ensure it could not happen again. 

Overdoses of the Pfizer vaccine have previously been reported in the United States, Australia, Germany and Israel.

READ ALSO: Italy opens Covid vaccinations to over-50s from Monday 

While Italy’s national vaccination plan sets priority groups that each region is supposed to stick to, regional health authorities have some freedom to set their own schedule according to their population and the doses available, meaning eligibility varies from one part of the country to another.

After months of setbacks and delays, Italy’s vaccination programme now appears to be speeding up.

Italy recently hit its target of administering half a million jabs in one day, and the seven-day average daily number of vaccinations given in the country is now around 460,000 – up from 433,000 the week before, the latest figures show.

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