Italy needs to focus on vaccinating elderly - PM | Eurasia Diary -

12 May, Wednesday

Italy needs to focus on vaccinating elderly - PM

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Italy wants to complete its coronavirus vaccination campaign for the elderly by the end of April and will focus on protecting older people who are the most exposed to death risks, Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Thursday, Eurasia Diary reports citing Anadolu Agency. 

Draghi condemned younger people who are not on the priority list but manage to skip the queue, hurting those who are more fragile and vulnerable.

"How can a young person or someone who is not on the list jump the queue, knowing that he or she is exposing someone who is over 75 to the risk of death?" he said at a news conference.

Italy's vaccination campaign, started at the end of December, has been lagging because of administrative inefficiency and delays in vaccines' supplies.

The government has pledged to speed up the campaign to reach herd immunity by the end of the summer.

"We have enough doses to vaccinate all people over 80 and part of the over 75 by April," according to Draghi, who said he believed there was "good cooperation" between the state and regions.

Draghi also addressed the need to start planning to reopen schools and businesses hit hard by lockdowns.

"If we reduce the risk of death among the most exposed people, it's clear that we would reopen with more tranquility," the Italian premier added.
The government has been under pressure to allow the reopening of firms, bars, restaurants, and all other activities blocked by the pandemic, just as it faces one of the worst recessions in Italian history.

Draghi stopped short of providing a date for reopening but said it would depend on the number of vaccinations and infections.

Italy reported 487 coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday against 627 the previous day, the health ministry said. The daily tally of new infections rose to 17,221 from 13,708 the day before.

Italy has registered 112,861 deaths linked to COVID-19 since the pandemic, the second-highest toll in Europe after the UK.

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