Omicron, 4th dose for those over their 70s? With infections booming, the government is now thinking about it

The Corona virus disease It changes quickly, from alternative to alternative, and shows no sign of slowing this race creating a new surge of infection. Thus, the epidemiological picture is changing rapidly, to the point that regions are now asking the government to speed up administration of the fourth dose well beyond the 1970s in an effort to limit the peak infection that could occur in the coming weeks.

Yesterday, 71,947 new infections were recorded within 24 hours, according to data from the Ministry of Health. A number that brings current positives to more than 1 million (1,037,511). Last Saturday, the number of injured was 84,700. On the other hand, the number of victims recorded yesterday was 57, compared to 63 two days ago. A total of 262,557 swabs were taken, including both antigenic and molecular, with a positive rate of 27.4%, a slight increase compared to 26% last Saturday. 291 patients were hospitalized in intensive care, 16 more than two days ago. The number of accepted daily 40 people. And the number of people admitted to regular wards is increasing: it has reached 7,212, up 177 from last Saturday.

The pressure on the Ministry of Health is driving that small group of regions made up of Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Veneto and Lazio, to which the other regions are gradually joining. And Palazzo Chigi can accept their request, with Health Minister Roberto Speranza agreeing to administer in a very short time the booster vaccine for more than 70 years.

“It would be appropriate for the technical and scientific authorities of the Ministry of Health to assess the opportunity to immediately expand the audience of people called for the fourth dose of the Covid vaccine – the Lazio Region Health Adviser said, Alessio D’Amato -. Given the strong viral infection rate, it is probably appropriate to lower the current threshold of 80 years to 70 years. I think it is useful to do this additional validation in relation to the changing epidemiological framework.”

Regarding the possibility of extending the fourth dose well beyond the seventies, technicians are showing signs of opening up. Sources close to the Health Ministry say they will be willing to change plans, making more appeal to this segment of the population in a few months.

In fact, the fourth dose for those over 70 is prescribed in September or October. The idea was to go ahead with a vaccination campaign with an “updated” vaccine, possibly more targeted against the Omicron Ba5 variant. Thus, a new vaccine, according to a group of consultants from the Food and Drug Administration, the US agency that regulates drugs, will be ready and available as early as next October.

In Italy, this new wave of cases was not expected with the summer season. Injuries are increasing, although fortunately hospitalizations are not growing at the same rate. Hence the idea of ​​expanding call management. However, nothing has been reported yet. The matter will be discussed in detail this week with the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza He will meet with technicians to assess the situation.

Berpaolo Celeri, the undersecretary of health, already has a subtle idea of ​​his own and that is to keep the original plan in place. “I think it’s too late to think about vaccinating people over the age of 70 with the goal of facing this wave of infection,” he explains. “Until we give the fourth dose to everyone over 70, this new wave will have already come to an end. That is why I am in favor of waiting for September or October, and perhaps moving forward with an updated vaccine that is more effective than the one we have today.”

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