Vaccination is mandatory for those over the age of 50 in Italy
The Italian government has made vaccination against the new type of coronavirus mandatory for all people over the age of 50 with immediate effect, according to a decree officially published on Wednesday evening.
Those affected must submit the vaccine by June 15.
In Europe, the coronavirus was responsible for the largest number of deaths in Italy after the United Kingdom. More than 138,000 people have died from complications from the disease caused by the virus.
Mario Draghi’s government had previously required health and education workers to take the vaccine, and earlier, when the lockdown was lifted last October, Italians could only return to work if they had been vaccinated or had recently tested negative.
According to Wednesday’s decree, people over 50 will not have enough testing to attend as of February 15, and they will only be able to go to work with vaccinations. It is not yet clear what penalties a person who does not comply with the regulation will face. Under previous rules, unvaccinated and untested workers could be sent on unpaid leave.
“These measures are meant to enable our hospitals to function well, to keep schools open and to continue doing business.” Italian government spokesman said.
The Right League disagrees with a rule it has called scientifically unfounded, arguing that the vast majority of those in hospital are over 60. Under the original proposal, public offices, non-essential stores, banks and post offices as well as hairdressers, would have been banned from unvaccinated people, but this was eventually modified to allow the use of these services with a negative test.
In Europe, Austria is preparing to order compulsory vaccination on the widest possible scale. Starting next month, everyone over the age of 14 will be required to vaccinate themselves. In Greece, people over the age of 60 must receive the vaccine from January 16th.
Compared to other European countries, Italy was subsequently exposed to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, but the number of cases has been steadily rising in recent weeks. On Wednesday, nearly 190,000 new infections were diagnosed, in an unprecedented example.
On Wednesday 231 and Tuesday, 259 people died of COVID-19 disease caused by the virus in Italy.
Nearly three-quarters of Italians have already taken two doses of the vaccine, and 35 percent have already received a third booster dose.
“Social media evangelist. Baconaholic. Devoted reader. Twitter scholar. Avid coffee trailblazer.”