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Covid-19: Who will get the 532,000 new vaccine doses arriving in Italy?

An updated vaccination plan for Italy is taking shape, as a new distribution scheme is to be revealed this weekend. Here's what we know so far.

Covid-19: Who will get the 532,000 new vaccine doses arriving in Italy?
(Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP)

Some 532,000 new doses are expected to arrive in Italy as part of a wider European rollout containing an extra four million BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine doses over the next two weeks.

“The vaccination campaign is the key to getting out of this pandemic,” health minister Roberto Speranza said on Wednesday, according to Italian media reports.

“We have chosen to start by protecting our healthcare staff, key workers and elderly people over 80, who are the most affected by the disease. Priority is given to people with serious disabilities and critical illnesses,” added Speranza.

Italy’s Minister for Disabilities, Erika Stefani, emphasised that priority groups must include those with severe disabilities, which she said was required by Italian law.

It was not immediately clear how the new plan would alter Italy’s current list of priority groups.

Photo by YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/POOL/AFP

Italy’s share of the four million doses being distributed across the EU is to be deployed over the next two weeks, said European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday.

She said these extra BioNTech/Pfizer doses will be delivered “before the end of March”.

READ ALSO: Who is in Italy’s Covid-19 vaccine priority groups?

Deliveries would jump to 100 million doses per month in April, May and June, according to the EC chief. Her goal is to have 70 percent of adults in the EU fully vaccinated by mid-September.

Latest figures show that almost 5.8 million people have received a dose in Italy so far – and almost 1.8 million have been fully vaccinated, receiving their second dose.

The region with the highest amount of administrations is Lombardy with over 884,000 to date, according to data by the Italian government. This is followed by Lazio and Campania.

At the other end of the scale, Valle d’Aosta has distributed the lowest amount of doses, at just under 15,000.

More women have received a vaccine dose: 3.5 million compared to 2.2 million men.

Under the government’s current criteria for priority groups, the top of the list remains the over-80s. Some 1.5 million people in this category have now received a vaccination dose for Covid-19.

Source: governo.it

The next group to receive the largest amount of vaccinations is not the next age-group down – the 70-79-year-olds – but instead, it’s the 50-59 age bracket.

This is likely due to the fact that category 1, the highest priority after the over-80s, is for people at very high risk of becoming ill with Covid, aged 16 and up. Therefore, any person above 16 can fall into this high priority group if they have conditions such as respiratory illnesses, for example.

READ ALSO: EU launches ‘vaccine tracker’ and shifts strategy away from AstraZeneca

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COVID-19

Reader Question: What are Italy’s Covid quarantine rules for travellers?

Italy's quarantine rules have changed so many times over the past couple of years, it can be hard to keep track. Here's the latest information on when and how visitors need to self-isolate.

Reader Question: What are Italy's Covid quarantine rules for travellers?

Question: “One of your recent articles says you can exit quarantine by testing negative for the coronavirus. But you can also exit quarantine by obtaining a Letter of Recovery from Covid-19… true?”

Unfortunately, official proof of having recovered from Covid-19 won’t get you out of the requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid while visiting Italy – though it can shorten your quarantine period.

Anyone who tests positive in Italy is required to immediately self-isolate for a minimum of seven days: that’s if the person in question is fully vaccinated and boosted, or has completed their primary vaccination cycle or recovered from Covid less than 120 days ago.

That period is extended to 10 days for those who aren’t fully vaccinated and boosted, or those who recovered from Covid or completed their primary vaccination cycle more than 120 days ago.

READ ALSO: Travel in Italy and Covid rules this summer: what to expect

In either case, the infected person must have been symptomless for at least three days in order to exit quarantine (with the exception of symptoms relating to a lost sense of taste or smell, which can persist for some time after the infection is over).

The patient must also test negative for the virus via either a molecular (PCR) or rapid antigen test on the final day of the quarantine in order to be allowed out.

Quarantined people who keep testing positive for the virus can be kept in self-isolation for a maximum of 21 days, at which point they will be automatically released.

Italy does not currently require visitors from any country to test negative in order to enter its borders, as long as they are fully boosted or were recently vaccinated/ have recently recovered from Covid.

READ ALSO: How tourists and visitors can get a coronavirus test in Italy

Some countries (including the US), however, do require people travelling from Italy to test negative before their departure – which means visitors at the tail end of their journey could be hit with the unpleasant surprise of finding out they need to quarantine for another week in Italy instead of heading home as planned.

It’s because of this rule that a number of The Local’s readers told us they wouldn’t be coming on holiday to Italy this summer, and intend to postpone for another year.

If you are planning on visiting Italy from a country that requires you to test negative for Covid prior to re-entry, it’s a good idea to consider what you would do and where you would go in the unlikely event you unexpectedly test positive.

Please note that The Local cannot advise on specific cases. For more information about how the rules may apply to you, see the Italian Health Ministry’s website or consult the Italian embassy in your country.

You can keep up with the latest updates via our homepage or Italian travel news section.

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