Italy has reached the target of fully vaccinating 80% of the population over the age of 12 against COVID-19, according to official data, achieving a goal Rome had set as a safety cut-off point, Reuters reports.
According to a government website showed 43,229,551 people over-12, out of a total population of around 60 million, had completed their vaccination cycle as of 10 October.
The 80% target was set by special commissioner for the COVID emergency, Army General Francesco Paolo Figliuolo, in March and was hit late on 9 October.
“That’s a critical level above which experts say – and the trend we’ve been recording for weeks confirms this – that the risk of hospitalisation is drastically reduced”, the commissioner’s office said.
Italy was a harbinger for Europe in the first wave of the pandemic in early 2020 with the rest of the continent watching on in horror as they realised what was unfolding in Italy was soon to befall on their own shores.
120 deaths a day not an “acceptable death rate” – UK health chief
Staying with Dr Jenny Harries, she said it is not the case that 120 deaths a day is seen as an “acceptable death rate” for Covid.
She told The Andrew Marr show: “Clearly we’ve got large vaccination programmes ongoing, we’ve got significant testing.
“This isn’t how we normally treat an endemic disease so I think the answer to that is very clearly no. We’re taking it extremely seriously.
“But it is important to remember that for an average flu season it’s about 11,000 deaths a year – it’s somewhere between four (thousand) to 22,000 over the last four to five years.
“So we are starting to move to a situation where, perhaps Covid is not the most significant element and many of those individuals affected will of course have other comorbidities which will make them vulnerable to serious illness for other reasons as well.”
Staying with the UK Health Security Agency chief executive, Dr Jenny Harries, she told The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One that the difficulty now is in predicting what is to come with Covid-19, as immunity from vaccines wanes in some older people.
She said: “We’ve obviously had extremely good vaccine uptake and that is now preventing very significant amounts of hospitalisation and death.”
She added: “Probably the difficulty is at this point in the pandemic, it’s one of the most difficult times to predict what will come.
“We have different levels of vaccination, we have a little bit of immunity waning in older individuals, which is why we’re now starting to put in a Covid booster vaccine.
“We have slightly different effectiveness in different vaccinations that have been provided.”
The UK Health Security Agency chief executive Dr Jenny Harries has said that this year there could be a “multi-strain flu” and encouraged everyone who is eligible to ensure they take up the offer of both their coronavirus and flu jabs.
She told Sky: “The difference here is because we have, if you like, skipped a year almost with flu, it’s possible we might see multi-strain flu.
“We usually get one strain predominating. We look to the southern hemisphere, who hits winter sooner than we do.
“We work with WHO (the World Health Organisation) and then take JCVI (the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) advice to know which strains to include in the vaccine each year, and there are four in there.
“So we’ve got a pretty good array in our toolbox to try and hit whichever one becomes dominant but it could be more than one this year, and people’s immunity will be lower.
“So I think the real trick here is to get vaccinated – in both Covid and flu – but obviously to continue to do those good hygiene behaviours that we’ve been practising all through Covid.”
UK faces uncertain winter says Jenny Harries
The UK faces an “uncertain” winter, with the presence of both flu and Covid-19, a health chief has said.
The UK Health Security Agency chief executive Dr Jenny Harries said there is lower immunity to flu this year.
Asked how worried the public should be about flu this winter, she told Sky’s Trevor Phillips On Sunday: “We should be worried about flu each winter. I think people still don’t realise it can be a fatal disease. Recent studies suggest that about 25% of us don’t actually understand that. On average, over the last five years, about 11,000 people have died with flu-related conditions.
“But I think the important thing about this winter is, we are likely to see flu, for the first time in any real numbers, co-circulating with Covid.
“So the risks of catching both together still remain. And if you do that, then early evidence suggests that you are twice as likely to die from having two together, than just having Covid alone.
“So I think it’s an uncertain winter ahead – that’s not a prediction it’s an uncertain feature – but we do know that flu cases have been lower in the previous year so immunity and the strain types are a little more uncertain.”
Malaysia on Sunday lifted interstate and international travel restrictions for residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as the country achieved its target of inoculating 90% of its adult population, Reuters reports.
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government has agreed to allow fully vaccinated Malaysians to travel overseas without applying for permission. The new rules take effect on Monday.
The government is preparing to shift into an endemic COVID-19 phase where it will not impose wide lockdowns again if cases rise, Ismail Sabri told a news conference.
The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, has backed plans to fast-track the resumption of international travel as soon as New South Wales’ home quarantine program is ready.
In a Facebook livestream on Sunday, the prime minister said he had had discussions with NSW premier Dominic Perrottet about bringing forward the start date of international travel for fully vaccinated people.
His comments come after Perrottet said earlier on Sunday that he wanted to resume international travel “as quickly as possible”, flagging that a home quarantine program for fully-vaccinated people could begin as soon as the end of this month.
Hi, I’m Jamie Grierson and I’ll be giving you a rundown of all the coronavirus key developments from across the world.
Here is a round-up of all the day’s leading stories.
More than two million people have been given the coronavirus booster jab in England so far. NHS England said on Saturday that three weeks after the booster programme began, a total of 2.08m top-ups have been administered. Booster jabs are being given at least six months after a second dose.
In Australia, the prime minister, Scott Morrison has backed plans to fast-track the resumption of international travel as soon as New South Wales’ home quarantine program is ready. In a Facebook livestream on Sunday, he said he had held discussions with NSW premier Dominic Perrottet about bringing forward the start date of international travel for fully vaccinated people.
The prime minister of Malaysia, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, has said the Government is to allow fully vaccinated nationals to travel overseas without applying for permission from 11 October, as 90% of the adult population is now fully vaccinated.
Italy has reached the target of fully vaccinating 80% of the population over the age of 12 against Covid-19, according to official data, achieving a goal Rome had set as a safety cut-off point, government data showed on Sunday. According to a government website showed 43,229,551 people over-12, out of a total population of around 60 million, had completed their vaccination cycle as of Oct 10. The 80% target was set by special commissioner for the Covid emergency, Army General Francesco Paolo Figliuolo, in March and was hit late on 9 October.
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