Italy plans to offer Covid vaccine to over-40s from Monday

Italy plans to offer Covid vaccine to over-40s from Monday
More people will become eligible for vaccination in Italy next week. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP
Italian regions are now preparing to offer shots to healthy people in their 40s, on instructions from the government's emergency commissioner Francesco Figliuolo.

Over-40s – anyone born in or before 1981 – are the next cohort able to register for a jab in several more Italian regions and autonomous provinces from Monday May 17th.

In a letter to regional health authorities on Wednesday, Figliuolo has given regions the green light to move down to the next priority group, just a week after instructing them to open appointments to the over-50s.

READ ALSO: Who is eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine in your region of Italy?

But some regions are moving faster – or slower – than this. While Italy’s national vaccination plan sets priority groups, each of Italy’s 20 regions have their own timetable, according to the population and doses available.

The commissioner has stressed it’s necessary to continue prioritising those who are fragile or over 60 even as booking opens to younger adults, who may still face a wait of several weeks before they actually get their jab. 

Some regions have outpaced the national programme: Veneto, Puglia, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Basilicata and the province of Bolzano had already decided to start offering appointments to over-40s from next week.

Lazio is getting an even bigger head-start by holding an ‘Open Day’ this weekend, administering AstraZeneca jabs to the over-40s across 21 vaccination centres on Saturday and Sunday.

Piedmont will start registering the 45-49 age group from Monday. Meanwhile Lombardy is concentrating on the over-50s until May 20th.

Emilia-Romagna and Liguria are also not open for the over-40s group from Monday, as they are offering appointments to people aged 55 and over, to be followed by people in their early 50s later this month.

READ ALSO: Where to register for a Covid-19 vaccine in your region of Italy

Until now, under-50s have only been eligible for a jab if they have health problems or disabilities, live with or care for someone who does, or work in key sectors such as health care or education.

Also from Monday, San Marino, an independent micro-state in northern Italy, announced it’s making available the Russian Sputnik Covid-19 vaccine to tourists for 50 euros – though the shot hasn’t been approved by the EU’s drug regulator and therefore won’t be valid for travel within the Italy or the rest of the bloc.

Italy recently hit its target of administering half a million jabs in one day, and the seven-day average daily number of vaccinations given in the country is now around 470,000 – up from 444,000 the week before, the latest figures show.

To check the vaccination status of your region, check here.


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