Covid-19: Italy to vaccinate 12-18 year olds without appointments

Young people between 12 and 18 years old will soon be able to get their vaccine doses without booking, according to the latest directive from Italy's coronavirus emergency commissioner.

Covid-19: Italy to vaccinate 12-18 year olds without appointments

From August 16th, this age group will be given priority to get immunised “even without prior booking”, as stated in a letter from commissioner Francesco Figliuolo. to Italy’s regions, according to news reports.

The vaccination campaign “is developing as planned, which is seeing the gradual achievement of the objectives set for the immunisation of priority classes, the most vulnerable and fragile citizens,” wrote the commissioner.

READ ALSO: Italy says 99 percent of Covid deaths weren’t fully vaccinated

He said the latest move was intended to give “impetus” to vaccinating youngsters ahead of the return to school in September by creating “fast lanes” for this band that is still largely unvaccinated.

Italy began offering vaccination appointments to over-12s from early June.

Some 23 percent of 12-19 year-olds have been fully vaccinated in Italy, making up 1.75 million people in this group, according to the latest government figures.

The decision to prioritise this age bracket is also aimed at making the new sports season safer.

“This provision will also have positive implications to encourage the safe resumption of both sports activities and those aimed at ensuring greater mental and physical well-being for young people,” reads the letter.

The goal is the “completion of the vaccination of technical staff working in sports facilities or sports associations aimed at well-being,” he added.

Italy is also looking at vaccines for children younger than 12 in the next phase of the vaccination campaign.

Massimo Galli, director of the infectious diseases clinic at Milan’s Sacco Hospital, said, “the vaccine for the under-12s is fundamental because, with the reopening of schools, the spread among children is unstoppable,” he told Sky TG24’s news show ‘Buongiorno‘.

READ ALSO: Which parts of Italy could be declared Covid risk zones in August?


“In other words, without having vaccinated the entire population, including children, the possibility of containing the phenomenon becomes complicated,” he added.

Franco Locatelli, coordinator of the Scientific Technical Committee (CTS) gave November as a possible date to start vaccinating children.

“Pfizer and Moderna are close to the authorisation for the youngest, the under 12s. I believe that it is necessary to vaccinate even the youngest,” he said in an interview with newspaper Il Messaggero.

“By vaccinating children we will avoid outbreaks in primary schools. We will limit the circulation of the virus and the possibility of parents and grandparents becoming infected,” he added.

Referring to the Delta variant, which is driving Italy’s fourth wave of coronavirus, Galli indicated the need for updated vaccines “in order to really fight the disease”.

He also referred to the problem of the over-50s still unvaccinated – more than a quarter (28 percent) of 50-59 year-olds are still not fully immunised.

“The 50-year-olds who haven’t yet been vaccinated need to be convinced by telling them that if they expect to get away with it thanks to others’ vaccines, with the Delta variant in circulation they can give up that hope,” he said.

“In fact, it is so widespread that it can even reach people who have many vaccinated people around them,” he warned.

The news comes after Italy’s Higher Health Institute (ISS) released findings on the effectiveness of the vaccine, reporting that 99 percent of Covid deaths in Italy since February were among those not fully vaccinated.

In a bid to increase vaccinations, the Italian government has extended its ‘green pass‘ requirement to access many leisure and cultural sites across Italy – a move which has both sparked protests and increased vaccine bookings.

Some 65 percent of Italy’s population over 12 are now fully vaccinated, with 72.5 million doses administered in total.

Member comments

  1. Hi, wondering if vaccinating kids applies to foreign students studying in Italy? My 16 year old has had one dose at home and will need second jab in Italy. Anyone know if she’d be eligible for her second dose (Pfizer) in Italy, if she’s had her first jab at home? (Non- EU country), and generally if international students will be vaccinated too. Thanks.

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Italy allows suspended anti-vax doctors to return to work

Italian heathcare staff suspended over their refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19 can now return to work, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni confirmed on Monday.

Italy allows suspended anti-vax doctors to return to work

Italy become the first country in Europe to make it obligatory for healthcare workers to be vaccinated, ruling in 2021 that they must have the jab or be transferred to other roles or suspended without pay.

That obligation had been set to expire in December, but was brought forward to Tuesday due to “a shortage of medical and health personnel”, Health Minister Orazio Schillaci said.

READ ALSO: Is Italy’s government planning to scrap all Covid measures?

Italy was the first European country to be hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, and has since registered nearly 180,000 deaths.

Schillaci first announced the plan to scrap the rule on Friday in a statement saying data showed the virus’ impact on hospitals  “is now limited”.

Those who refuse vaccination will be “reintegrated” into the workforce before the rule expires at the end of this year, as part of what the minister called a “gradual return to normality”.

Meloni said the move, which has been criticised by the centre-left as a win for anti-vax campaigners, would mean some 4,000 healthcare workers can return to work.

This includes some 1,579 doctors and dentists refusing vaccination, according to records at the end of October, representing 0.3 percent of all those registered with Italy’s National Federation of the Orders of Physicians, Surgeons and Dentists (Fnomceo) 

Meloni’s post-fascist Brothers of Italy party railed against the way Mario Draghi’s government handled the pandemic, when it was the main opposition party, and she promised to use her first cabinet meetings to mark a clear break in policies with her predecessor.