Over 27.1 million people had been fully vaccinated by July 19th, according to the government’s official tally, the equivalent of 50.2 percent of the total population aged 12 and up.
Italy administered between 3.7 million and 3.9 million shots in each of the past six weeks, taking the total number of jabs so far to 61.5 million.
The country’s goal is to vaccinate 80 percent of over-12s by the end of September, or some 54.3 million people.
The vast majority of the shots currently being administered are second doses, which means that progress has slowed reaching people who have not yet had a single injection.
That may change if the Italian government expands the use of its Covid-19 health pass, as it is expected to do this week.
The change could make showing a digital ‘green pass’ compulsory to access domestic flight, long-distance trains, nightclubs, gyms, sports stadiums and even possible indoor seating in restaurants.
While the certificate is also available to anyone who has tested negative for coronavirus in the past 48 hours or recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months, getting vaccinated is the easiest way to access a pass that won’t quickly expire. Italy currently makes its pass available 15 days after the first dose of a vaccine, even if a second is required.
Italian health authorities have said that extending the health pass scheme could be a useful way to give unvaccinated people an extra incentive to book a jab, though the main purpose is thought to be avoiding reinstating blanket restrictions during the peak summer holiday season.
According to the government’s latest weekly report, around 7 percent of Italy’s over-80s still have not had even one shot, rising to 12 percent for people in their 70s, 18 percent for 60 to 69-year-olds, and 26 percent of people in their 50s.
While vaccination is compulsory for healthcare workers, at least 2 percent have not had either dose. Nor have 15 percent of people working in schools, prompting some health experts to call for vaccination to also be made mandatory for teachers.
Italy’s goal is to “vaccinate all Italians who want it with the first dose by the end of the summer”, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said in June.