Italy makes covid vaccine mandatory for police, teachers, military

Mandatory vaccination included in Italy's 'Super Green Pass' decree.

The Italian government has announced that the covid vaccine will become obligatory for the country's teachers, police officers and military, with effect from 15 December.

The move is part of a new decree centred around the so-called Super Green Pass which favours those who have been vaccinated or recovered from covid, while barring the unvaccinated from accessing a range of social, cultural and sporting activities.

The compulsory vaccination order - which includes administrative staff in schools and hospitals, and prison guards - was announced on Wednesday night by Italy's health minister Roberto Speranza.

The minister also said that from 1 December everyone over the age of 18 can book a booster dose.

Until now the booster dose is only available to the over-40s or those who are immunocompromised individuals such as cancer patients and transplant recipients.

Speranza said that health staff - the first category of workers mandated to get vaccinated earlier this year - will be obliged to have their third 'booster' dose of the vaccine from mid-December.

He added that the government intends to expand the nation's covid vaccination campaign to children aged 5-11, pending the formal approval from Italian medicines agency AIFA, expected to be given within days.

Speranza said that all going to plan Italy would receive the vaccine doses for children towards the end of December.

Italy's prime minister Mario Draghi said the new "important measures" were needed to "preserve normality" and to "give certainty" to the tourist holiday season.

"I hope it's a normal Christmas, for the vaccinated it will be" - said Draghi - "Let's hope the pandemic evolves so that next Christmas will be for everyone."

For details of the new decree (in Italian) see the government website. Photo: Alessia Pierdomenico / Shutterstock.com.