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COVID-19 VACCINES

Italy says 99 percent of Covid deaths weren’t fully vaccinated

Almost 99 percent of people who have died of Covid in Italy since February this year hadn't fully completed the vaccination cycle, the Higher Health Institute (ISS) reported on Tuesday.

Italy says 99 percent of Covid deaths weren't fully vaccinated
(Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)

In a study by Italy’s public health body on Covid-related deaths over the past six months, it was also revealed that deaths among those fully vaccinated were older on average than those who died without completing the vaccination cycle.

The figure stands at 88.6 years of age versus 80.

In the ISS’s periodic report on deaths, those dying from Covid-19 while fully vaccinated also had more pre-existing health problems, according to the findings.

The ISS gives two possible explanations for the results.

“Very elderly patients with numerous diseases may have a reduced immune response and therefore be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and its complications despite having been vaccinated,” stated the report.

And secondly, they pointed to the fact that priority for vaccination was given to the oldest and most vulnerable people.

(Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)

That means this section of the population had the highest vaccination coverage when they performed the study.

Up until July 21st, there were 423 SARS-COV-2 positive deaths in those who had a “complete vaccination cycle”, representing 1.2 percent of all Covid positive deaths since February 1st.

Out of those 423, the ISS sampled 70 medical records and found that the average number of underlying health problems among those vaccinated was 5.0, compared with 3.7 in unvaccinated Covid deaths.

There were a total of 35,776 deaths from the virus in the timeframe of the study.

Recent data from the ISS indicated that the vaccine is over 70 percent effective in preventing infection in those who have had only one of two doses, which increases to above 88 percent for those who are fully vaccinated.

The figures come after Italy announced an extension to its ‘green pass‘, which means from next month, it will be mandatory to show a certificate to enter most venues and sites across Italy.

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The document will prove that the holder has been vaccinated against Covid, tested negative for the virus within the past 48 hours or has recovered from it within the previous six months.

More than 33 million copies of Italy’s Covid health pass have already been downloaded, emergency commissioner Figliuolo told reporters on Monday.

Since the announcement, protests have spread across Italy in opposition to the move, but meanwhile, Italian authorities have noticed a surge in bookings again.

Some 31 million people, making over 57 percent of the population over 12 years old, have now been fully vaccinated, according to the latest government figures.

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COVID-19 RULES

Italy allows suspended anti-vax doctors to return to work

Italian heathcare staff suspended over their refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19 can now return to work, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni confirmed on Monday.

Italy allows suspended anti-vax doctors to return to work

Italy become the first country in Europe to make it obligatory for healthcare workers to be vaccinated, ruling in 2021 that they must have the jab or be transferred to other roles or suspended without pay.

That obligation had been set to expire in December, but was brought forward to Tuesday due to “a shortage of medical and health personnel”, Health Minister Orazio Schillaci said.

READ ALSO: Is Italy’s government planning to scrap all Covid measures?

Italy was the first European country to be hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, and has since registered nearly 180,000 deaths.

Schillaci first announced the plan to scrap the rule on Friday in a statement saying data showed the virus’ impact on hospitals  “is now limited”.

Those who refuse vaccination will be “reintegrated” into the workforce before the rule expires at the end of this year, as part of what the minister called a “gradual return to normality”.

Meloni said the move, which has been criticised by the centre-left as a win for anti-vax campaigners, would mean some 4,000 healthcare workers can return to work.

This includes some 1,579 doctors and dentists refusing vaccination, according to records at the end of October, representing 0.3 percent of all those registered with Italy’s National Federation of the Orders of Physicians, Surgeons and Dentists (Fnomceo) 

Meloni’s post-fascist Brothers of Italy party railed against the way Mario Draghi’s government handled the pandemic, when it was the main opposition party, and she promised to use her first cabinet meetings to mark a clear break in policies with her predecessor.

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