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Italy COVID vaccines: Undue priorities prevail

Italy COVID vaccines: Undue priorities prevail

Italy Prime Minister Mario Draghi was clear when he said: “Some regions neglect their elders in favor of groups that have priorities probably based on some of their contractual strength.”

  1. In the past week in Italy, 2,500 deaths of the 3,000 were people over the age of 70.
  2. According to recommendations, vaccination priority is currently given to people over 80, over 70, health personnel, teachers, law enforcement, and the frail.
  3. There appears to be a priority loophole in the form of a category entitled “other.”

The Prime Minister’s complaint made last Wednesday to Italian daily Domani, however, did not give rise to any decisions. But the situation is very serious and requires an immediate turn of the rudder: every lost hour with regard to Italy COVID vaccines will cost human lives.

During the last week, there have been 7 deaths per million inhabitants compared to 4 in France and the United States and 2.5 in Germany and Great Britain. At least 2,500 of the 3,000 deaths in the last week were over 70.

They are the only real category at risk. But of the 10.7 million Italians who are over 70, over 8 million have not yet seen a dose of the vaccine. Only one million (one in 10) had the second dose. Vaccines suitable for the elderly (Pfizer and Moderna) had 3.6 million doses out of 7.2 injected.

Today, hundreds more women and men may die who were supposed to be first and still have not been vaccinated. Unfortunately, the governors are right when they say they have obeyed the government.

The recommendations of March 24 contain this concept of priority – over 80s, over 70s, health personnel, teachers, law enforcement, the frail, guests of the RSA- these are all priorities on an equal footing.

Although the priorities cite the elderly, at the same time, the government has authorized the regions to create their own guidelines. By all appearances, it looks as those that were given precedence were “groups with bargaining force.”

After Draghi’s outburst in parliament, things got even worse. In the last four days, the Tuscany of the ineffable Eugenio Giani (President of the Tuscany region) has given half the doses of vaccine to the obscure category called “other” – so difficult to define that Palazzo Chigi has preferred to eliminate it from the statistics it publishes.

So, there have been 1.2 million vaccines which, although it is reported as official, no one knows to whom they were given. What is known is that in the last 4 days, Campania has allocated 40,000 of the 76,000 doses injected to the “other” category.

This whole scenario is not only costing hundreds of human lives, but above all they postpone the exit from the emergency (including economic) which, by really giving priority to the elderly, could already be in sight.

Rather than participating in discussions about reopening restaurants and schools, the government should hold responsible those who have been given the authority to manage the vaccination plan.