Italy to offer covid vaccine booster to over-18s from 1 December

Covid booster is currently available in Italy to those aged over 40.

Italy is to offer the third covid vaccine dose, or booster shot, to everyone aged over 18 from 1 December, the health minister Roberto Speranza announced on Wednesday evening.

“We have an advantage, also due to the brave choices made in previous months” - said Speranza - “and we want to try to keep it by staying ahead of the virus.”

The booster dose is currently available in Italy to the over-40s or to frailer individuals such as cancer patients and transplant recipients.

Speranza was speaking during the unveiling of Italy's new 'Super Green Pass' which excludes the unvaccinated from accessing a range of social, cultural and sporting activities.

As part of the new decree, the covid vaccine will become obligatory for the country's teachers, police officers and military, with effect from 15 December.

Speranza also announced on Wednesday that the government intends to expand its covid vaccination campaign to children aged 5-11, once this is approved formally by the Italian medicines agency AIFA.

On Thursday the EU medicines regulator EMA approved the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine for the 5-11 age group, paving the way for vaccines to be given to millions of children in Europe as a new wave of covid infections sweeps across the continent.