The Ema gives the green light to the new vaccines adapted against the Omicron variant and the vaccination campaign in Italy can get into gear with the first administrations reserved for over 60s and fragile expectations already after mid-September since the sending of the first vials by of companies is expected in 10 days. It will be a circular to indicate the priority categories for the administrations after the green light of Aifa scheduled for 5 September. For the new vaccination campaign there will be a shower of vaccines available – not only for Omicron 1 but also for 4 and 5 – with the expected departure on the eve of the political elections on 25 September.
The green light of the EMA
Health Minister Roberto Speranza does not want to waste time and the calendar is already practically fixed. On 1 September, the EMA, the EU drug agency, gave the green light to the new bivalent vaccines for the over 12s studied by Pfizer and Moderna on the original strain of the virus (that of Wuhan) and on the Omicron 1 variant. And the EMA has already started the evaluation of vaccines, always bivalent, but studied not only on the Wuhan strain but also on the Omicron 4 and 5 variants, that is, those now prevalent. With the green light for these new medicines that could arrive at the end of the month and therefore their availability would already be in October.
In the autumn, a rain of vaccines
All these moves will guarantee a shower of vaccines to continue the fight against Covid on the eve of an autumn in which a resumption of infections is expected, with the current vaccines – those made only on the original strain of the virus (that of Wuhan in fact) – which will be available for those who have not yet immunized and change their minds. “With the evolution of the pandemic, the EU strategy – explains the EMA – is to have a wide range of vaccines adapted for different variants, so that Member States have a plurality of options to meet the their needs “.
The vaccination campaign in Italy
Returning to the Italian calendar of the new vaccination campaign after the yes of the EMA, our drug agency (Aifa) will give its green light on 5 September and a few days later the Ministry of Health will write its circular indicating the categories from which start the administration of the new vaccines. Just when the first vials of the new vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are expected. Immediately after the circular, the organizational machine will restart and will be managed centrally by the Unit for the completion of the vaccination campaign at Palazzo Chigi led by General Tommaso Petroni, while at the local level the ball will return to the Regions.
The departure on the eve of the elections
The new campaign will rely less on large hubs and more on pharmacies and family doctors. And it will start on the eve of the elections and the formation of the new government which will come out of the polls on 25 September. So far, the issue has not yet heated up the electoral campaign even if the Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, spoke yesterday: «Covid has not disappeared and Italians must know what happens to the vaccination campaign after 25 September if the right were to win. The right, Salvini and Meloni, have an ambiguous attitude. Those who apply must say how they think about vaccinations and if they want to change their line ». Meanwhile, the announced circular of the Ministry of Health has been launched which reduces the period of isolation for asymptomatic positives (at least from 48 hours) from 7 to 5 days, provided that a negative test is carried out.