Italy has reached the goal of fully vaccinating 80% of the population over the age of 12 against Covid-19, according to official data, achieving a target set by the government as a safety cut-off.
According to a government website, 43,229,551 people over the age of 12, out of a total population of about 60 million, have completed the course of vaccination as of October 10.
The 80% target was set by the special commissioner for the Covid emergency, General Francesco Paolo Vigliolo, in March and was hit late on October 9.
“It’s a critical level that experts say if it exceeds – and the trend we’ve been recording for weeks confirms that – the risk of hospitalization is significantly reduced,” the commissioner’s office said.
It’s “not just a token threshold,” said Guido Rassi, a former director at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and current adviser to General Vigliolo.
“It is a level, as the calculations show, associated with a significant reduction in the spread of the virus and a drastic reduction in hospital admissions.”
He added that reducing the number of hospital admissions was essential to Italy’s economic recovery and to help the national healthcare system refocus on non-Covid services.
However, hitting the 80% goal is not enough, according to the commissioner’s advisor.
“We will have to continue to reach other thresholds: either the percentages are above 80% if we continue to abstain from vaccinating children under 12 years old, or 80% of the total population, including children between the ages of 5 and 12,” he said. . .
Hospital admissions for Covid-19 in Italy have fallen steadily since early summer.
Italy has recorded 131,274 deaths linked to Covid-19 since the outbreak in February last year, the second highest toll in Europe after Britain and the ninth highest in the world.
The country has reported 4.7 million cases so far.
The UK faces an uncertain winter due to flu and Covid-19
A health expert said that The UK faces an ‘uncertain’ winter, with both flu and Covid-19 on the way.
Dr Jenny Harris, chief executive of the UK’s Health Security Agency, said immunity to influenza is lower this year.
She said, “I guess people still don’t realize it [flu] It can be a fatal disease. Recent studies suggest that about 25% of us don’t actually understand it. On average, over the past five years, about 11,000 people have died from influenza-related illnesses.
“But I think the important thing about this winter is that we are likely to see influenza, for the first time in any real numbers, in association with Covid.
“So the risks of catching the two together are still there. And if you do, the early evidence suggests that you’re more likely to die from having two together, compared to just having Covid alone.
“So I think there’s an uncertain winter – that’s not a prediction but an uncertain trait – but we know that flu cases have been lower in the last year, so immunity and strain types are more uncertain.”
Dr Harris also said that the dominance of the delta variable globally has led to the “extinction” of other coronavirus variables, but cautioned that we still need to “stay alert”.
“With Delta dominance, it’s as if many of the other variants that have been discovered have gone extinct, a number of the variants under investigation have gone up quite a bit, we’ve seen cases, and they’ve gone extinct.
“Now, while that is true, I think it is, but I don’t think it means we should reduce our overall surveillance systems. We need to stay alert to see.”
“It is still early days for a new virus to emerge.”
Additional Reports PA
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