Vaccination obligation yes, immediately. But with different shades. While the Omicron variant is in the spotlight, the control room is approaching which on Thursday – in the meeting with Prime Minister Mario Draghi – will evaluate possible measures based on the data. For the experts, who have been managing the coronavirus emergency for over 20 months, regardless of the results of the ‘flash survey’ on the new variant, it is time for a turning point that must materialize in the vaccination campaign.
“The only action that should be taken urgently would be to make the vaccine mandatory, taking advantage of these two weeks of school closures to vaccinate those who are not yet vaccinated. After that, everyone should be given the opportunity to get vaccinated in open facilities without a reservation and say that from 10 January those who are not vaccinated pay a penalty “, says the professor. Matteo Bassetti, director of the infectious disease clinic of the San Martino polyclinic in Genoa. “It is not a question of imposing a tso as some say, it would be a question of imposing an administrative sanction. It was right to impose the obligation on health professionals, teachers and police forces. order, but now rather than proceeding by categories of workers, we should proceed by age groups, from 40 years upwards, where the virus beats very hard .. Those over 40 years old to be able to go out and go to work should be vaccinated. As a doctor I say that it would take the vaccination obligation, then it is up to politicians to decide how to apply it, at least something they do “., He continues.
Professor Massimo Andreoni, head of infectious disease at the Tor Vergata Polyclinic in Rome and scientific director of the Italian Society of Infectious and Tropical Diseases (Simit), has “always been in favor of compulsory vaccination. And I am even more so today given that the Omicron variant could become a an important risk factor that could put hospitals in difficulty. This choice and that of the lockdown for the unvaccinated should be taken before reaching the red zone, when hospitalizations in the medical area and in intensive care are already at the limit. If Omicron will become dominant also in Italy it will be necessary to be prepared and the vaccination obligation, together with the restrictions for those who have not yet immunized, can help us “, he says.
“Now the theme is twofold: how we widen the range of compulsory vaccination – and in my opinion all categories that are in contact with the public must be vaccinated – and above all how we update vaccines to the new variants. On these two issues it will be necessary to quickly take some decisions “, highlights the director of the Inmi Spallanzani of Rome, Francesco Vaia. “It is not the time to scare people but to insist on measures that have proved effective and to update them,” he stresses.
“I am obliged to vaccinate”, says the professor Maria Rita Gismondo, director of the laboratory of clinical microbiology, virology and diagnostics of bioemergencies at the Sacco hospital in Milan. “I am thinking of a vaccination obligation that should apply from 40 years upwards and for the frail of every age group”, he adds, following a line similar to that indicated by Bassetti.
“The vaccination obligation creates further division while the obligation for workers could be an element on which there is already an agreement and an element that means greatly expanding the audience of those who must be vaccinated”, says the professor Fabrizio Pregliasco, lecturer at the State of Milan, indicating the way to follow.
“Even from the point of view of a check – underlines the expert – it would be a more effective measure because then with the generalized obligation”, recalls the virologist, “it is not that you can go and get people and get them vaccinated”. It all boils down to a fine and “with a fine against a convinced no-vax – comments Pregliasco who has repeatedly confronted the diehards – do you know what you are doing with it?
For Professor Andrea Vrisanti, we need to go beyond the conception of obligation: the impact of such a decision “depends on how it is implemented. A vaccination obligation without a sanction is worth nothing. It is as if it became only the ferocious face of the State . If there is no sanction, we waste time, the obligation does not exist “, says the director of the Department of Molecular Medicine of the University of Padua.
There are many elements to consider in relation to a vaccination obligation, explains Crisanti: “For example, how much do you earn with the obligation? What would be the disincentive not to take the vaccine? All these things must be clarified, otherwise we remain in demagogy”, he concludes the virologist.
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