Representative photo of a vaccine
Italy's national Covid-19 vaccination campaign will see the first tranche of 202 million doses to be distributed to some 40 million people in the first quarter of 2021, Health Minister Roberto Speranza stated on Wednesday.
Unveiling the plan before the parliament, Speranza explained that the vaccine would be free and voluntary, Xinhua news agency reported.
"Our goal is to start with no obligation, but (instead) with persuasion and information in order to reach the herd immunity with about 40 million Italians," he told lawmakers.
According to the minister, the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be delivered to Italy between January 23 and January 26, and "will be stored in 300 points within public hospitals".
The campaign will start with health care workers and staff, and residents in nursing homes, before moving to vulnerable groups such as the elders -- first the over-80s and then those between 60 and 80 years. The next group will be workers employed in essential sectors, including schools.
The Italian army will be directly involved in the distribution of the vaccine. "This is especially true for those (vaccine doses) requiring a standard cold chain," Speranza said, adding that the army is now planning carriers, modalities and logistics with Domenico Arcuri, the special commissioner for coronavirus emergency.
The campaign will be managed at a central level in the first phase, with a task force identifying all the specific hospitals and facilities where the vaccine will be administered across the country. Mobile health units will be deployed in order to reach the people who are physically impeded to reach the vaccination points.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.