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VACCINE

Have you had problems getting the Covid-19 vaccine in Italy?

More people are becoming eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine in Italy, but many international residents are discovering that they’re not actually able to sign up. We want to hear from you if you have had problems.

Have you had problems getting the Covid-19 vaccine in Italy?
A Civil Protection volunteer is pictured at a new vaccination hub in Lingotto Fiere Torino Pavilion in Turin, on April 14, 2021. (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP)

Member comments

  1. Italy will of course vaccinate everyone eventually. it lies at the heart of who we are. The question is when… not if. Fundamentally, if you are resident in Italy you should be in the health system, and you will be called up or able to make an appointment based on your circumstances and where you sit in the categorisation. if not, you will have to wait for open enrolment.

    Those who do not want to register or are not residents, should go to wherever they ARE resident to get priority, or wait for open enrolment. Showing up at vaccination centers without appointments or in the hope of circumventing the process will be out of luck, as long as there are legitimate Italian people in at risk categories or in the relevant age groups that haven’t received theirs yet.

    1. Returning to one’s place of residence may not be practical or safe for some of us – if it involves a long haul flight, there is substantial risk of contracting COVID in-transit. I am an Australian/ New Zealand dual citizen, moving between Italy (6 months) and Croatia (3 months) since February 2020. I have a codice fiscale but am not eligible to register with the health system. Australia and Italy have a reciprocal health arrangement under which I am, theoretically, entitled to receive emergency health care. If ever there was an emergency, I believe that COVID is it!

      1. I feel you are morally right, and you SHOULD receive care here, but as you know, Italy is a famously disorganised place. The health authorities have been hammered by Covid, and the priority for the scarce doses of vaccine we have been provided to date are going to the nationally determined vulnerability categories. They know that you are in those categories if you are registered. They will not accept documents issued by other authorities in lieu. They really cannot. To address your problem, the efforts should be to get you into the system, somehow, if you would normally be entitled to a shot through membership of the current categories being addressed now. Check with your embassy, perhaps, there may be a way to get you in, if you have the long stay visa you seem to have.

        Otherwise, you’ll have to wait till open registration. That is still a few weeks away, but it IS coming.

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COVID-19

Covid-19: Are Italian live events at risk of being postponed?

As the infection rate rises sharply across the country, Italian virologists are calling for concerts and festivals to be rescheduled.

Covid-19: Are Italian live events at risk of being postponed?

Italy has seen a large increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in recent days, so much so that a number of virologists across the country are now urging the government to postpone major live events in a bid to curb infections. 

According to a new report by Italy’s independent health watchdog, the Gimbe Foundation, 595,349 new cases were recorded in the week from June 29th to July 5th; a worrying 55 percent increase on the previous week. 

In the same time span, the country also registered a 32.8 percent rise in the number of hospitalised patients, which went from 6,035 to 8,003.  

The latest Covid wave, which is being driven by the highly contagious Omicron 5 variant, is a “real cause for concern”, especially in terms of a “potential patient overload”, said Nino Cartabellotta, president of the Gimbe Foundation. 

As Italian cities prepare to host a packed calendar of concerts and festivals this summer, health experts are questioning whether such events should actually take place given the high risk of transmission associated with mass gatherings.

READ ALSO: What tourists in Italy need to know if they get Covid-19

“Rescheduling these types of events would be the best thing to do right now,” said Massimo Ciccozzi, Director of Epidemiology at Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome. 

The summer wave is expected to peak in mid-July but, Ciccozzi warns, the upcoming live events might “delay [the peak] until the end of July or even beyond” and extend the infection curve.

Antonello Maruotti, Professor of Statistics at LUMSA University of Rome, recently shared Ciccozzi’s concerns, saying that live events as big as Maneskin’s scheduled Rome concert are “definitely not a good idea”. 

The Italian rock band are slated to perform at the Circus Maximus on Saturday, July 9th but the expected turnout – over 70,000 fans are set to attend the event – has raised objections from an array of Italian doctors, with some warning that the concert might cause as many as 20,000 new cases.

If it were to materialise, the prospected scenario would significantly aggravate Lazio’s present medical predicament as there are currently over 186,000 Covid cases in the region (nearly 800 patients are receiving treatment in local hospitals). 

Italian rock band Maneskin performing in Turin

Italian rock band Maneskin are expected to perform at the Circus Maximus in Rome on Saturday, July 9th. Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

But, despite pleas to postpone the event, it is likely that Maneskin’s concert will take place as scheduled.

Alessandro Onorato, Rome’s Tourism Councillor, said that rescheduling is “out of question” and that “all recommendations from the local medical authorities will be adopted” with the help of the event’s organisers and staff on the ground.

At the time of writing, there is also no indication that the Italian government will consider postponing other major live events scheduled to take place in the coming weeks, though the situation is evolving rapidly and a U-turn on previous dispositions can’t be ruled out.

READ ALSO: At a glance: What are the Covid-19 rules in Italy now?

On this note, it is worth mentioning that Italy has now scrapped all of its former Covid measures except the requirement to wear FFP2 face masks on public transport (though not on planes) and in healthcare settings.

The use of face coverings is, however, still recommended in all crowded areas, including outdoors – exactly the point that leading Italian doctors are stressing in the hope that live events will not lead to large-scale infection.

Antonio Magi, President of Rome’s OMCEO (College of Doctors, Surgeons and Dentists), said: “Our advice is to wear FFP2 masks […] in high-risk situations.”

“I hope that young people will heed our recommendations and think about the health risks that their parents or grandparents might be exposed to after the event [they attend].”

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