Italian Health Undersecretary Pierpaolo Sileri on Wednesday made an appeal for those eligible for a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose to get it straight away, amid a sharp upswing in contagion in Italy.
The fourth vaccine had been reserved for the over-80s and the clinically vulnerable, but, as of this week, it is possible for over-60s to book a fourth jab too.
The uptake for the fourth dose so far has been disappointing in Italy.
Sileri said it would be a “mistake” for people to wait for an update version of the COVID-19 vaccine that gives higher protection against the Omicron variant.
“Although today’s vaccines were created on the basis of the original form of the virus, they function very well (in protecting) against the serious form of the illness, including in relation to the Omicron variant and its sub-variants,” Sileri told Radio Capital.
“That is what we have to care about – preventing the hospitals and intensive-care units (getting overloaded)”.
Italy has dropped almost all its COVID-19-related restriction, with the obligation to wear facemasks on public transport and in care homes and hospitals among the few measures remaining in force.
Sileri said the government had no plans to bring back restrictive measures in the autumn.
Italy saw coronavirus cases rise in July. The number of daily infections last week surpassed 100,000 for the first time since February and hospital admissions are also seen increasing.
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