Italy’s health minister told lawmakers on Wednesday that Italy will distribute 202.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines during 2021 in “an unprecedented effort that will require a huge collective commitment.’’
Robert Speranza said the vaccines will not be mandatory, but that the doses allotted Italy through an EU collective purchasing agreement would be “enough to potentially vaccinate the entire population.”
Speranza emphasized that the distribution of the vaccines would depend on regulatory approval which was still pending from the European Medicines Agency.
The first vaccines are expected to arrive in January with Pfizer’s vaccine expected to get first EMA approval by Dec. 29 and Moderna by Jan. 12.
Priority will be given first to Italy’s front-line health care workers, then residents of nursing homes, then to elderly over 80 before moving to other groups like people with medical risks, law enforcement, teachers and prison workers.
Speranza said the vaccines provide “a message of hope” in the pandemic, which has killed more than 55,000 Italians, but that “prudence and caution are still needed.”
Coronavirus: Italy reports 20,648 new COVID-19 cases, 541 deaths in last 24 hoursItaly reported 541 COVID-19-related deaths on Sunday, against 686 the day before, and 20,648 new infections, down from 26,323 on Saturday, the health ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: Italy reports 26,323 new COVID-19 cases, 686 deathsItaly reported 686 COVID-19-related deaths on Saturday, against 827 the day before, and 26,323 new infections, down from 28,352 on Friday, the health ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: Italy loosens COVID-19 restrictions in five regionsThe Italian government will ease anti-COVID restrictions in five regions from Sunday, including in the country’s richest and most populous region ... Coronavirus