The vaccine program here in Italy has had fits and starts but fortunately is starting to move forward. We are reliant upon the joint EU procurement for the vaccines and there were some early stumbles with AstraZenica. More Pfizer, Moderna and J&J vaccines are arriving and the expectation is that by the end of the summer we should reach close to 70% vaccinated. Speriamo bene!
Vaccinating medical staff and police forces was a first priority and is mostly complete. Teachers were next and have been finalized. I have seen notice of as much as 90% compliance with these groups.
Next were those who are over 80 years old and in retirement centers as they have been hardest hit by this pandemic and incurred the largest percentage of deaths. In Basilicata they are reporting up to 80% of this group is vaccinated and are taking the vaccines to small towns and individual homes – there have been several stories of 100+ year olds being vaccinated.
Those considered to have severe health conditions have been able to be vaccinated. The most recent group to have access to the vaccines are those with health conditions that increase their possible reaction to the Covid virus – called the fragile. Due to a medical condition, I have I qualify for the vaccine under this group and have had my Pfizer vaccine. My wife qualifies has my cohabitant and has had the Moderna vaccine.
In April they activated an online reservation process linked to our national health system enrollment. The vaccines have been given to the over-80 groups in the individual towns but we had to go to the Qatar tents located at the main hospital in Potenza. These tents were donated a year ago by Qatar Kingdom and are the location for some virus testing and vaccinations.
Once we are both fully vaccinated we will feel more secure as Italy plans to open-up again this summer. We will continue to follow prudent protocols to avoid the Covid virus but this is a step to give us some peace of mind during this ongoing pandemic.
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