Research & Development
Italy plans to launch free COVID-19 vaccination programme in early 2021
2 December 2020 -

Italy's Health Minister Roberto Speranza has stated that the country will launch a free coronavirus vaccination programme early in 2021, Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday.

According to Speranza, the Italian government had options to buy 202 million COVID-19 vaccine shots from various companies and is awaiting clearance from European drug authorities. The main part of the Italian vaccine campaign would be carried out between spring and summer 2021, with health workers, elderly people and those living in nursing homes getting the first shots. The country's army will be involved in distribution.

Speranza was quoted as saying: "The vaccine distribution depends on the contracts signed by the European Commission... subject to authorisation procedures that are not yet absolutely certain."

Italy has recorded 1.62 million COVID-19 cases, with a death toll of 56,361, since the beginning of the pandemic. This is the second highest toll in Europe after the UK.

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