Several potential vaccines have shown promising results in clinical trials, including one about to be tested in Italy on hundreds of volunteers.
The Italian government has appointed a task force to plan how and where the first doses will be delivered when international regulators approve a successful vaccine.
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However, one recent survey found that nearly 50 percent of people asked in Italy said they would have doubts about getting vaccinated, including 11 percent who described themselves as “completely against” a vaccine.
Scientists estimate that 60-90 percent of a population needs to be vaccinated – possibly every year – to reach herd immunity against the coronavirus and stop future outbreaks.
The vaccine will be free in Italy, Health Minister Roberto Speranza has long maintained, and looks likely to be voluntary.
“The vaccine is the only definitive solution to Covid-19. As far as I'm concerned it will always be a global public asset, a right for everyone, not the privilege of a few,” he said back in June.