Coronavirus vaccine reservations in Italy surged this week, officials said, after the government said all employees had to show evidence of jabs, negative tests, or a recent recovery from Covid-19. ..
“At the national level, appointments for first doses generally increased by 20 to 40 percent compared to last week,” Coronavirus Commissioner Francesco Figriuolo said in a statement late Saturday.
He added that the appointment for the first dose of the vaccine on Saturday increased by 35 percent at the same time a week ago, without showing actual figures.
To date, approximately 41 million people have been fully vaccinated in Italy, accounting for nearly 76% of the population aged 12 and over, according to government data.
However, authorities continue to be concerned about holdouts ahead of the winter flu season, and this week they have expanded the so-called “green pass” to all public and private workplaces.
First introduced in August for dining in indoor restaurants, museums and sporting events, this pass shows evidence of vaccination, recent Covid-19 negatives, or recent recovery from the virus.
This week, Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s national unity government agreed to extend it to all workplaces from October 15, and employees who refused to comply were considered unpaid and absent.
Those who are exempt from the vaccine for health reasons will be given a free coronavirus test.
Italy was the first European country to face the full potential of a pandemic in February 2020, surpassing the worst death toll recorded in the European Union of 130,000.
Although the blockade last year put the economy in a deep recession, the number of cases since spring has been largely curtailed, and growth is projected to surge this year due to the huge injection of the EU’s recovery fund.
© 2021 AFP
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