With just two full days left in September, all eyes are on the vaccination rollout as authorities continue administering doses of the anti-Covid vaccine at a consistent pace.
Italy pledged back in March to vaccinate 80 percent of the eligible population by September 30th – a target that the government was confident of meeting in August.
Vaccination coverage is one of the key factors the health ministry will take into account later this week when deciding on upcoming changes to the coronavirus restrictions.
The government may allow some businesses to relax Covid restrictions further for those with a green pass, while it is also considering whether to make vaccinations mandatory for more groups.
Just under 78 percent of the entire population over 12 years old have now completed their vaccination cycle, according to the latest government figures on Tuesday.
So with just two percent to go, Italy is approaching its vaccination goal – but might fall just shy of the mark.
The latest seven-day moving average of doses administered daily in Italy is 214,202. Of these, 953 are single doses.
At this rate, it would take four days to reach 80 percent coverage of the eligible population, meaning the target would be achieved on October 2nd, according to estimates by newspaper Il sole 24 Ore.
The forecast means Italy is roughly on track nationally, but what about the regional differences?
Five of Italy’s 21 regions and autonomous provinces have already surpassed the national benchmark, including Lazio (82%), Lombardy (81.6%), Molise (81.3%), Puglia (81.3%) and Emilia Romagna (80.7%).
Out of these regional averages, some municipalities could be even further ahead or lag behind.
The ‘comune’ of Malalbergo in Emilia Romagna, for example, has now reached 80 percent coverage – already meeting the national target, but just slightly behind its regional average.
My local comune has sent latest Covid and vaccine stats via WhatsApp – 80 percent of resident population now vaccinated. We're ahead of the national curve! Only another 3 days for the whole of Italy to meet this benchmark as per the end of September target.
— Karli Drinkwater (@karlibubbles) September 28, 2021
The rest of Italy’s regions are still behind the 80 percent national target, although another five regions are ahead of the current nationwide average of 78 percent, including Basilicata (79.7%), Umbria (79.7%), Tuscany (78.3%), Abruzzo (78.1%) and Veneto (78.1%).
Some 11 regions are behind the national average, with Sicily coming in at last place for its percentage of vaccinated population at just 69.9%.
This region also ranks the highest for the percentage of eligible people yet to have received a single dose - reaching almost a quarter of Sicily's population at 24.2%.
It's closely followed by the autonomous province of Bolzano, where 23.6% of the eligible population are still to receive a single dose and the regional average for a completed vaccination cycle is 71.4%.
Sicily also ranks the lowest for the amount of over 80s vaccinated, with 78.7% of this age group now completely vaccinated.
Emilia Romagna, meanwhile, tops the table for this category with 97.7% of the over 80s fully immunised.
While Italy works to meet its vaccination targets, it has already begun administering a third booster dose to those most at risk of the disease, extending it further to the over 80s and those in care homes from Tuesday.