Italy offers covid-19 vaccine booster to over 40s

Booster to be made available for people in their 40s and 50s.

Italy is to offer a third dose of the covid-19 vaccine to the 40-59 age group from 1 December, according to a statement released by the health ministry on Thursday.

The booster jab will be offered to people in their 40s and 50s provided it is at least six months after their second vaccination, or the single J&J shot, reports news agency ANSA.

The extension of the vaccine is due "to the increased circulation of the virus, which has led to a rise in the incidence of new infections", said the health ministry.

Health minister Roberto Speranza, speaking in parliament on Wednesday, said: "We consider the third dose absolutely strategic for the vaccination campaign."

Speranza said: "We began with the immunocompromised, the frail, medical workers, the over-60s and those who had J&J who can have booster jabs after six months."

As of Friday, more than 45 million people or nearly 84 per cent of the Italian population over the age of 12 have been fully vaccinated, and 2.2 million have received booster shots, according to the latest health ministry data.

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