People over 60 and at-risk populations in Italy have the green light to receive a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in line with the European Union’s new recommendations, the Italian Ministry of Health announced on July 11.
The EU released its updated guidelines from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) regarding vaccination administration this morning, encouraging all member states to follow suit in encouraging another booster shot.
Italy is immediately adapting its guidelines, effective today, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said just a few hours after the EU’s announcement.
The update comes at the same time that the Omicron sub-variants have caused a spike in COVID-19 cases in Italy and around the world.
There is no time to waste, said Stella Kyriakides, EU commissioner for health.
Within the last two weeks, there has been an 89% overall increase in cases in Italy, and a 70% increase in the Tuscany region, according to data from the Italian Department of Civil Protection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently classifies Italy as level three, with a high level of the virus.
Data suggests that the new variants are able to evade previous immunity, whether it be from an infection or a vaccination, making the virus much more contractible for all populations. Although the variants are much more contagious, infections are not as serious.
This booster is an integral way of protecting ourselves, our loved ones and those who are vulnerable, Kyriakides said. (natasha sokoloff)
To make an appointment to receive the second booster, visit the Region of Tuscany’s website.