Italy sees rise in COVID-19 cases as anti-vaxxers cost country €50 million

People take part in a protest against coronavirus health pass in Turin, Italy, 04 December 2021. [EPA-EFE / Alessandro Di Marco]

COVID-19 cases rose 22.4% over the last seven days in Italy, an increase of 22.4% according to the Gimbe Foundation. A 12% increase in deaths and 16.3% of hospitalisations were also recorded.

Nino Cartabellotta, president of the Gimbe Foundation said that “the number of new cases continues to increase, with a daily average that has increased more than sixfold: from 2,456 cases recorded on 15 October to 15,110 on 7 December.”

However, the vaccination campaign is continuing steadily: in seven days, 223,000 first doses have been registered (an increase of 31.7% of new vaccines thanks to the Super Green Pass). In Italy, 80.1% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 2.6 million people have already received their third jab.

Since December, people older than 18 can book an appointment to get the booster, which can be done five months after receiving the second dose. From 16 December, the 5-11 age group can be vaccinated with Pfizer BioNTech doses.

Nevertheless, according to a survey by the research centre Censis, 6% of Italians deny the existence of COVID, while 10.9% consider the vaccine useless.

Walter Riccardi, advisor to the health minister, said that “with the COVID Pass, we will not be able to convince everyone to vaccinate, but a good part – we hope – yes: they will realise that if they do not vaccinate, this emergency will continue for years, the whole country will suffer.”

“Every month we spend about €50 million to treat anti-vaxxers who go to the hospital. They are half a billion euros a year, which we could reserve to treat other diseases, which at this time we cannot treat,” he added.

(Eleonora Vasques | EURACTIV.com)

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