Locatelli: 19 million doses to arrive by September. Rezza. “Paradigm shift, priority protection for people at risk such as with the flu”. Booster also for the over 12s on a voluntary basis: soon the indications to the Regions
From Monday 12 September the administrations for the new adapted bivalent vaccines start, which have obtained the green light from Ema, Aifa and Ecdc. «They will arrive by the end of September 19 million doses followed by others in the following months, and will be primarily intended for warnings for over 60, frail and health workers and pregnant women. The available doses have already been distributed to the Regions and from Monday those who have booked for the booster will already be able to receive them “he assures Franco Locatellipresident of the Higher Health Council.
For the continuation of the vaccination campaign in view of the autumn (and above all to convince the categories most at risk to do the third to fourth dose) the circular of the Ministry of Health – signed by the Director General of Prevention, Gianni Rezza – focuses on the new updated bivalent anti-Covid calls approved by Ema and Aifa for those who have more than 12 years. These are adapted “bivalent vaccines”, produced by Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna in which “half of the RNA is referable to the original Wuhan strain and the other to the Omicron BA.1 variant” explains Locatelli. “According to the reports presented, the new vaccine also has coverage on the predominant sub-variant Ba.5,” he adds Nicola Magrinigeneral director of the Italian drug agency, during a press conference at the Ministry of Health.
To whom is recommended in priority
The Ministry circular recommends the use of the new bivalent vaccines for categories most at risk that is over 60 and frail subjects, health workers, guests and operators of the Rsa and pregnant women. A total audience calculated between 15 to 20 million people. «From a public health point of view and based on the current epidemiological situation, the indication now is to vaccinate as a priority the people who are most in need of protection from serious illness. But since Ema has used the vaccine from 12 years upwards – adds Rezza – I think other categories cannot be excluded of persons for whom it is authorized “.
Under 60 on a voluntary basis
In addition to the risk categories defined in the recent circular, the new recall may be administered on a voluntary basis to a wider audience. For example, those under 60 can get the booster four months after the last booster or recovery: in this case, the vaccine must be prescribed by the general practitioner, just like the flu vaccine (which is paid, while the anti-covid is always free). «The EMA has authorized the recall for those over 12 and it can be done on a voluntary basis. It will be given in the next few days more detailed indication to the Regions on the modalities, compatibly with the logistic organization that must give priority to categories at risk»Says Rezza.
Change of paradigm
«We are faced with a paradigm shift of the vaccination campaign which leads us to protect people at risk as a priority, a bit like the flu. The circular is inspired by this new model »explains Rezza. And she adds: «At first, with the Covid vaccination they thought they were blocking the circulation of the infection. Then we verified that, because of the variants emerging, it is not possible to keep the epidemic completely under control only thanks to vaccinations », but« vaccines are very effective in protecting against serious illness and death »he clarifies. «The real success of the summer campaign – he says – was decrease hospitalizations“.
Weapon against Omicron
‘The updated bivalent vaccine against Ba.1 has been shown to generate a neutralizing antibodies definitely significant obviously against Ba.1 but also against Ba.4 and Ba.5, which are the currently dominant variants (more than 96% of all strains isolated in Italy). So these vaccines represent another weapon to prevent the development of serious or fatal diseases»Explains Locatelli. “We are at the beginning of an autumn season that sees vaccination as a very important factor for all those at risk – adds Magrini – It is an important first step: from Monday 12 September it will be possible to start at the regional level and other vaccines will arrive later”.
What will happen to “old vaccines” that are expiring?
“I’m 28 million doses of anti Covid vaccines that expire at the end of the year and we have made every effort to donate them: we have reached 60 million and we are in constant contact to donate as many doses as possible»Explains Tommaso Petroni, director of the Unit for completing the vaccination campaign and fighting the pandemic. “THE traditional vaccines will continue to be used for the primary cycle (first and second dose) and for monitoring the effective efficacy of the new vaccines based on some studies that have started in numerous countries “. adds Magrini. And Locatelli reiterates the effectiveness of the «original vaccines»: «In the first year of use they allowed save something like 20 million lives as pointed out a few days ago by the The New England Journal of Medicinethe most prestigious medical journal ».
September 9, 2022 (change September 9, 2022 | 14:03)
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