Draghi clarifies and frees Astrazeneca for the under 60s

Chigi Palace Press OfficeANSA

The “peremptory” recommendations of a week ago have become optional. From now on, people under the age of 60 who received the first dose of AstraZeneca will be able to booster the same vaccine as long as they provide their doctor’s opinion and informed consent. A new gearbox in progress. Only seven days ago, on the day of the death of 18-year-old from Genoa Camilla Canepa, the circular signed by the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza left no choice, thus authorizing the so-called heterologous vaccination, first dose with AstraZeneca, second dose with Pfirzer or Moderna. All this despite the contrary opinion of many scientists, including the minister’s own consultant. In fact, Walter Ricciardi pointed out that there are not enough scientific studies to support the vaccine mix and many others have also exposed themselves in this sense, creating a battle between virologists and above all confusion among citizens. So much so that 10% of people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine refused to booster with another dose.

Then in a press conference, called urgently late in the evening, Mario Draghi appears “to clarify the vaccines”. At Palazzo Chigi the premier speaks directly, before Speranza and before the emergency commissioner Figliuolo, undoing the knot that has slowed down the vaccination campaign in recent days. “Getting vaccinated is essential. The worst thing you can do – says Draghi – is to not get vaccinated at all or to take a single dose. Anyone who does not want to do the heterologous vaccination is free to booster with AstraZeneca, as long as they have a doctor’s opinion and informed consent “. All other people, already vaccinated with the first dose, will do the vaccine mix instead.

Now the responsibility is in the hands of general practitioners who a few days had complained from the government “an unacceptable vagueness” and who will now have to decide whether or not to administer AstraZeneca to their patients without knowing on what assumptions this decision must be based. Also because the studies on heterologous vaccination are always two, the Spanish and the English on a total of 1500 people, but the ministry leaves it to be understood that the preferred way is heterologous vaccination.

In recent days it was the councilor for Health of the Lazio Region, Alessio D’Amato, who made this proposal also through a letter written to the Ministry of Health to avoid the risk of an escape from the recalls due to skepticism about the mix of vaccines. Now the national authorization has arrived, but the Prime Minister reassures about the so-called “cocktail of vaccines” also not to deny what the Ministry of Health had said just a week ago: “Heterologous vaccination works and I too am booked for do it next Tuesday “. The premier is 73 years old but, he explains, “the first dose of AstraZeneca gave a low antibody response and I am advised to be a heterologous”.

The emergency commissioner Francesco Paolo Figliuolo argues that “there will be no slowdown in the vaccination campaign:” we will keep to 500 thousand administrations per day and the doses for the heterologous vaccination for the month of June have already been ensured, we will soon for July “.

Finally, the Prime Minister addresses the topic of masks: “I will ask the Scientific Technical Committee for an opinion on the use of masks outdoors”. In recent days the news had filtered on the hypothesis of eliminating the obligation by July. “But there are still no dates”, specifies Draghi. Just as the final decision on the state of emergency has not been taken, the extension of which, given for certain by numerous government sources, will however be discussed “when we are near the deadline”. The government is focused on the vaccination campaign, on the search for the over 50s and the 2.8 million over 60s who are still missing. Confused communication, due in large part to confused decisions, did not help the journey and risked creating further damage. Which is why Draghi intervened, bypassing Minister Speranza himself.

Source: Huffington Post Italy Athena2 by www.huffingtonpost.it.

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