Almost 26 million Italians who have yet to have the first dose of the vaccine and another 13.6 who have to do the booster, 900 thousand of whom have had the first dose with Astrazeneca and will now do the second with Pfizer and Moderna.
After the circular from the Ministry of Health which gives peremptory indications on the use of the Anglo-Swedish company's serum only on the over 60s, there is a risk of slowing down the mass vaccination campaign, with the consequent postponement of the herd immunity provided by the commissioner for the Francesco Figliulo emergency at the end of September. But government sources say that "the Italian vaccination campaign will proceed with the same intensity as before", given "the wide availability" of "over 55 million Pfizer and Moderna doses"between now and the end of the third quarter.
Another problem is that, if the forecasts on arrivals until the end of the third quarter are confirmed, Italy risks finding millions of doses of Astrazeneca and Johnson and Johnson unusable in the refrigerators.
The decision taken yesterday by the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza, on the recommendation of the experts of the Scientific Technical Committee after the death of the 18-year-old in Genoa and the perplexities of part of the scientific community, has already forced the Regions to cancel the open days - which if they are reorganized , is written in the minutes of the Cts, they will have to "respect the indications for age groups" - and to review the booking agenda. With Lombardy first announcing that it does not want to follow up on the government's decision to administer a different vaccine for boosters, "pending an official note from the Ministry of Health and Aifa", but then backtracking once the circular is received and the position of Aifa itself. "The contradictory and semi-absent communication of the government on vaccines - said the leader of the Brothers of Italy Giorgia Meloni - is what is most contributing to triggering panic among citizens. They immediately assume the responsibility of giving clear and transparent answers to the Italians since millions of citizens are waiting ".
But beyond the controversy, what is worrying, Figliuolo himself admitted, is the risk that the campaign could slow down: "if you make a plan that rests on 4 legs plus one that could have been Curevac and if then one of these legs are crippled or limited it is clear that all the plans are revised. I do not make gloomy predictions, I am convinced that in September we will close, but if we were to add another audience, for example 6-15 years, if Curevac does not arrive and if we there are other obstacles it is clear that we will not make it ". According to the numbers provided by Figliuolo to the CTS, 7.2 million doses of mRNA vaccines should arrive by the end of the month (5.8 from Pfizer and 1.4 from Moderna), to which the 45 foreseen in the third must be added. quarter (31 of Pfizer and 14 of Moderna) for a total of 52.2 million.If Curevac's serum is approved, Italy will have another 6.5 million by the end of September, for a total of 58.7 million doses of mRNA vaccines. A figure that, as Figliuolo said, allows you to go "smoothly" only if there are no other hitches. The same general, among other things, already on May 10 in a note to the CTS had signaled that the quantity of mRNA vaccines would be less than necessary. "In light of the number of people already vaccinated and of the one who received the first dose and that, therefore, the need for the second - he wrote - the needs necessary to complete the campaign by September in 73 million doses were defined against a forecast of inflow of about 68. in essence,the need for mRNA vaccines is higher than expected supplies. "Considering that the recalls for 900 thousand and 2.3 million 12-15 year-olds have been added to this situation, the numbers are at the limit.
Then there is the unknown Johnson & Johnson. Within the CTS there was a long discussion between those who wanted to equate it with Astrazeneca and those who instead claimed that there was not enough data and, in the end, this line passed. While considering the similarities with Az, the experts wrote in the report, "the current state of knowledge, the number of just over a million doses administered and the rarity" of thrombosis, "do not allow us to draw conclusive assessments with respect to the benefit / risk". However, evaluations could arrive in the coming weeks and change the scenarios, it being understood that in any case this vaccine is already recommended for those aged 60 and over. What is certain is that, again based on the numbers of Figliuolo, there are still 3,5 million over 60 who have not even had the first dose and 3.9 who have to do the boosters. Which require a total of between 7.4 and 11 million doses. But Italy, at the end of September, could have more than 50 million doses of Astrazeneca and J&J given that 10 million were expected in June and 40.7 in the third quarter. If they do not go to the Covax countries, as the Commissioner assumed, the risk of them expiring in the refrigerators is very high. (HANDLE).the risk of them expiring in refrigerators is very high. (HANDLE).the risk of them expiring in refrigerators is very high. (HANDLE).