Italy Faces Covid Crisis: Hospitalizations Increase, Vaccines in Short Supply
The latest data on Covid-19 in Italy have sparked alarm within the Ministry of Health. The concerns revolve around a two-fold problem: the rapid spread of the virus leading to a significant increase in hospitalizations, and the shortage of vaccine doses, hampering the immunization efforts. The Federation of Oncologists, Cardiologists, and Hematologists, known as the Mouth, has even warned of a possible 15 thousand deaths due to the current situation.
Hospitals across Italy have seen a staggering 25.3% increase in Covid-19 patients in just one week. The majority of these patients are in ordinary Covid-19 departments, with 3% requiring intensive care. Shockingly, 74% of hospitalized patients are not primarily there for Covid-19 related symptoms, but have tested positive for the virus while being treated for other ailments.
The elderly population is particularly at risk, as the presence of underlying health issues can exacerbate the effects of Covid-19. As president of the Federation of healthcare and hospital companies, John Migliore, noted, “Covid at this stage is dangerous especially for the elderly suffering from other pathologies that the virus contributes to aggravating.” The Foce fears that without intervention, the country could see 15 thousand deaths.
On the vaccination front, only over a million people have received the Covid-19 vaccine, despite the availability of 7.5 million doses. The shortage of vaccines has led to protests from both citizens and family doctors. President of the Foce, Francesco Cognetti, cited a 24% increase in Covid-19 mortality compared to the previous week, with a projection of over 15 thousand deaths annually if the current situation persists.
The lack of planning and organization within the country’s prevention system has been criticized by Cognetti, as well as the absence of a clear vaccination campaign targeting millions of Italian citizens. The confusion and conflicting messages from health authorities have also contributed to public reluctance.
In response to the crisis, the Ministry of Health is considering national open days to boost vaccination rates and is planning an extraordinary meeting with the Regions to address the vaccine shortage and potentially relaunch vaccination efforts on a larger scale. The effectiveness of immunizations against influenza will also be evaluated during this meeting.