Italy likely to offer third dose of covid vaccine to all from January

Covid vaccines to be extended to children in Italy as soon as regulatory authorities give the green light, says Sileri.

Italy is likely to start offering a third dose of the covid vaccine to the general population starting from January 2022, the country's deputy health minister Pierpaolo Sileri said on Tuesday.

Currently the third dose or "booster jab" is offered to the most vulnerable in society, such as cancer patients and transplant recipients, as well as the elderly and medical workers.

"The third dose will probably be necessary for everyone," Sileri told Radio Capital, adding that the vaccinations would be programmed based on when people received their last jab, with priority given to those who had the single-dose Johnson&Johnson vaccine.

"We will get rid of the mandatory Green Pass, but not now. We have to proceed step by step" - the health undersecretary said - "First we will remove the obligation of social distancing, then the masks and finally the Green Pass."

Sileri also said that covid vaccines would become available in Italy for children aged five to 11 as soon as the move is approved by regulatory authorities.

"I have a two-year-old son and if there were a vaccine available for his age I would give it to him immediately. Unfortunately, there isn't yet," Sileri said.

Italy's vaccination campaign

Just over 86 per cent of the Italian population above the age of 12 has had at least one dose of the covid vaccine, while 82 per cent are fully vaccinated, according to the latest data.

Last week Italian premier Mario Draghi said that Italy's vaccination campaign is moving faster than the EU average.

For official information about the covid-19 situation in Italy - in English - see the health ministry website. Details about the Green Pass can be found - in Italian - on the Certificazione Verde website.

Photo credit: MikeDotta / Shutterstock.com.