Rome (AP) – Tuscany octogenarians watched with disbelief as lawyers, masters, professors and other young professionals get vaccinated against COVID-19, despite government promises to prioritize Italy’s oldest citizens. Even some of their grown children jumped in front of them.
According to one estimate, the failure to provide staff over the age of 80 with fragile health has claimed the lives of thousands of people in Europe, the second most populous country in the world and the second most affected by the epidemic.
As the elders stepped aside, dozens of prominent Tuscan elders issued a letter calling on the authorities, including the governor of the region, to violate their health rights enshrined in the Italian Constitution.
“We asked ourselves, ‘What is the reason for this discrepancy?'” Said signer Enzo Celli, a retired Constitutional Court judge who has been shy for a month at 87 years. He had not been vaccinated in late March, three months after being vaccinated in Italy. propaganda.
“The application was born out of the thought that mistakes were made, abuses,” Chelli said in a telephone interview from his home near Siena. He noted that investigations are underway in Tuscany and other regions where specialists have been given priority status.
In Tuscany, people over the age of 80 have the lowest vaccination rates in the country.
Another signatory was 85-year-old editorial cartoonist Emilio Ian Anel, who is not vaccinated, while his son is a lawyer.
The front page of Corriere della Sera featured a cartoon by ian Anneliel depicting a young man in a business jacket hitting an old man leaning on a cane.
In a country where many citizens have learned not to count on often weak national governments, large-scale influence is exercised by lobby groups, which are sometimes ridiculed as “castes”.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi condemned such a “contractual effect” last month, saying “the main line is the need to vaccinate the most fragile people over the age of 80”. His government insists that vaccinations be reduced in order of age, with the exception of school staff, universities, security forces, prison staff, and inmates, as well as in community settings such as convent homes.
According to the ISPI research center, the opening of vaccination packages for younger Italians killed 6,500 people between mid-January and March, a period when nearly 28,000 people died.
ISPI researcher Matteo Villa said that any decision to vaccinate non-health professionals who are at risk of infection should be limited to those over 50 years of age.
“If we give 100 vaccines to people over the age of 90, we save 13 lives,” Villa said in a telephone interview, citing the death toll. “But young people between the ages of 20 and 29 need 100,000 vaccines to save just one life.”
The average age of death from the epidemic in Italy is 81 years.
Throughout the epidemic, the oldest Italians accounted for the majority of deaths, not just in Tuscany. Immediately before alerting the dragon lobby groups, journalists in the small Molise district were ready to get vaccinated early. In Lombardy, veterinarians have been given priority. In Campania, including Naples and the region, drug dealers have been given priority.
Regional leaders have blamed the delay on vaccine deliveries, arguing that the previous government’s vaccine distribution has opened the door to lobbying groups.
Some regions, such as Lazio, including Rome, resisted their pressure. By the end of March, almost 64% of Lazio’s 80 տար s senior had received at least one COVID-19 shot, compared with 40% in Tuscany.
Speaking about the most fragile society, Lazio Governor Nicola Ingaretti told Corriere della Sera newspaper. “True it is true that everyone is at risk of getting sick, but the difference is that they are among those who, if caught, are at greater risk of dying than others.”
Of Italy’s տարեկան 4.4 million people over the age of 80, less than 29% have been vaccinated, and 27% have received the first dose by the end of March alone, according to the GIMBE Foundation, which oversees healthcare in Italy.
That compares with 95% of those age groups in Malta who have received at least one dose and 85% in Finland, according to the Italian Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
In Britain, where vaccine distribution began about a month before the EU, most people over the age of 50 have received at least one dose.
GIMBE official Renata Gilli attributed much of Italy’s inequality to various organizational capabilities, such as “over-autonomy in the provinces in selecting priority vaccine categories.”
Some lobbying groups do not back down. The National Association of Magistrates, representing more than 9,600 judges in Italy, has threatened to further slow down the snail-infested judiciary if it is not given priority. The tourism lobby on Thursday demanded primary vaccines for its employees, calling them necessary for the country’s recovery.
On Friday, a high-ranking official of the Ministry of Health, ovan iovan Reza, tried to stop hockey for other priorities.
“There was a struggle between categories to get the vaccines a priority,” Reza told a news conference when asked if supermarket workers could be given special status. “We said, ‘Let’s finish the teachers, the security forces, but we don’t have any other categories.’ We will just use age criteria. ”
The army general, whom Draghi eavesdropped on last month to quell Italy’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign, acknowledges its widespread problems.
“Everything is going well. “No,” General Francesco Figliuolo told reporters in Milan on Wednesday.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. The Tuscany Health Commission said that prior to Draghi joining the task force, 10,319 lawyers, magistrates, court staff and staff received doses in the region.
Allowing lawyers to allow other vaccines quickly is a “problem, everyone is upset about it,” said Nathan L., a Florence antiques dealer who turns 83 next month and is still waiting. “Italy is just that. “People who put pressure” come forward.
Of the 10.6 million doses used in Italy so far, about 1.6 million have fallen into the “other” category, forcing some politicians to demand who they are. During the interrogation, Figliuolo’s office admitted that it had no idea, saying that it was pressuring the territories for special details.
Italians in their 70s, mostly out of the workforce, are still waiting for their shots. On March 31, only 8% received the first dose, and less than 2% received both.
Then there are people with fragile health, who are at the top of the government’s distribution list.
“The ‘fragile situation’ is a huge uncertainty,” said Francesca Lorenzi, a 48-year-old Milan lawyer with breast cancer. He noted that if cancer patients have completed therapy more than six months ago, they are no longer considered “fragile”.
“At the same time, they are giving Pfizer doses to people in their 60s who are in good health because they have university contracts. “I do not understand why a university professor or a lawyer should be vaccinated before anyone else,” he said.
Colin Barry reports from Milan. London-based Pan Pillas contributed to this report.
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