Italian medicines agency AIFA has approved giving people people a mix of different COVID-19 vaccines after the government decided to stop using the AstraZeneca jab with under-60s.
This means that people younger than 60 who have had their first jab with AstraZeneca are set to get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for their second dose.
Italy has stopped giving the AstraZeneca jab to under-60s, after links to bloods clots in younger people and the death of a 18-year-old woman after she had it.
The Italian authorities had already recommended AstraZeneca be only given to over-60s, but this was not an outright ban and many regions had been giving it to younger people on a voluntary basis.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA), however, has reiterated that it has approved the AstraZeneca jab for all adults, saying the benefits outweight the risks.
Italy’s COVID commissioner Francesco Figliuolo said the government was “re-planning” vaccinations with the regions and stressed “we have balanced with 11 regions to mitigate the disruption to citizens”.
He said experts were “studying” the use of other vaccines but the goverment’s current plan was “sustainable”.
Campania Governor Vinvcenzo De Luca banned AZ and Jonson & Jonson for the over-60s while Friuli Governor Massimiliano Fedriga said regulatory bodies were “confused” over the AZ jab.
Codogno has registered zero infections for the first time since February 2020
Codogno, the town where the first domestic transmission of Covid-19 was detected in Italy, has registered zero infections among its inhabitants for the first time since February 2020.
Mattia Maestri, 38, tested positive for coronavirus after he was hospitalised with severe pneumonia in Codogno on 20 February, leading the town and nine others in the Lombardy region, along with one in Veneto, to become the first in Europe to be quarantined. Maestri survived the virus after several weeks in intensive care.
Codogno was at the epicentre of the early stages of the pandemic in Italy before the entire country went into lockdown on 9 March.
“For the first time since that terrible 20 February, Codogno has recorded zero Covid infections among residents,” Francesco Passerini, the town’s mayor, wrote on Facebook. “It’s an important milestone and a further step towards the return to normality for our community. The vaccination campaign continues to progress quickly and we have reached a percentage of 63.15% [of the population vaccinated].”
Meanwhile, the Italian government is reportedly considering extending the “state of emergency”, which gives it powers to impose coronavirus restrictions and lockdowns if needed. The state of emergency was declared by Giuseppe Conte’s government in January 2020 and has been extended several times since. It is currently due to expire at the end of July. Italy registered 1,255 new infections on Tuesday and 63 deaths.
Photo: EPA-EFE/LUCA ZENNARO
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