The Italian government is revising its national plan for the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines due to the delay in supplies across Europe, Italy's Ansa news agency reports.
With fewer vaccines than expected to be available in the coming weeks, Italian ministers are meeting to review national distribution plans in order to ensure all regions can administer second doses to those who have had the first.
The unexpected shortage means most regional health authorities have now paused giving new first doses of the vaccine.
Regional Affairs Minister Francesco Boccia on Wednesday confirmed that the government was considering legal action against pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer over the delay, and called on Italy's regional health authorities to show “solidarity” to ensure no part of the country runs out of vaccines.
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“Protecting the health of Italian citizens is not negotiable,” Domenico Arcuri, the special commissioner for the pandemic, said in a statement late Tuesday.
But just as Italy began distributing the second doses three weeks later, from January 17th., the vaccination campaign in Italy and elsewhere in Europe was hit by a temporary reduction in supplies of the vaccine by Pfizer.
The vaccine is not yet available to the general population in Italy.