Covid-19: Italy to begin vaccinating health workers on December 27th

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Covid-19: Italy to begin vaccinating health workers on December 27th
Five staff at the Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Rome will be the first to be vaccinated in Italy. Photo: AFP

The first person to get the vaccine in Italy will be a nurse, Rome's Spallanzani infectious diseases hospital has announced.


The unnamed nurse will be one of five people to get the jab on Sunday as Italy begins its vaccination programme, news agency Ansa reports.
"On Sunday 27th December, V-Day, the first five anti-COVID vaccines will be administered to as many employees of the Institute, precisely: a nurse, an operator socio-sanitary (OSS), a researcher and two doctors," stated management at the Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases on Tuesday.
The nurse and the two doctors will then work on administering vaccines to colleagues.
The hospital has been at the centre of Italy's fight against the coronavirus outbreak since the first positive cases were discovered in Italy in January.
The announcement came after the European Commission and European Medicines Agency on Monday gave the green light to use of the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine in Europe.
European countries are eager to speedily begin vaccinating their populations in an attempt to prevent the virus from getting out of control once again, following the recent discovery of the new Covid-19 strain in the UK that health experts have said could be up to 70 percent more contagious.
However Italian health officials have insisted the vaccine will work on this and other new strains of cornavirus.
Italy, which will get its vaccines via the EU's procurement programme, had last week announced it would begin its vaccination programme in January.
Authorities stressed that vaccines against the disease caused by the novel coronavirus would not be immediately distributed to the general population, but would be rolled out first to high-risk groups including medical staff and the elderly.


Doctors and health care workers will get the first doses - some 1.4 million people - the health ministry said.

They will be followed by residents in care homes - just over 570,000 people.

Those aged over 80 will be next in line, followed by those aged 60-79, and those suffering from at least one chronic disease.

Vaccines will then be distributed to key workers - teachers, police, prison wardens 

Dozens of potential vaccines against Covid-19 are currently being developed and tested. Photo: Joel Saget/AFP

After that, it will be offered to the general population at walk-in centres and specially-designed kiosks.

The Italian government last week announced that it will begin constructing the pop-up vaccine kiosks in towns and cities throughout the country starting in January. 

There will be about 300 of the vaccine distribution sites at first, rising to 1,500 once the vaccination campaign is at its peak later in the year, according to Coronavirus Emeregency Commissioner. Domenico Arcuri.
“We may be able to build a few gazebos at the start of the campaign, but these structures are for when all Italians will start getting vaccinated,” he said.

The vaccine will be free and will not be obligatory.


While the government has not given official confirmation, it is unlikely that the vaccinations will be limited to Italian citizens.

All current mandatory or recommended vaccines are available to everyone living in the country - including those not registered with the SSN (National Health Service).

Italy's government was confident most of the population could be vaccinated by September, Reuters reports.

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.

However Italy has a sizeable anti-vaccine movement.

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.


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