No special treatment as Italy’s president gets Covid jab


ROME: There was no special treatment for Italian President Sergio Mattarella (pix) when he received his coronavirus vaccine in a Rome hospital on Tuesday.

In a photo issued by his office, the 79-year-old head of state was pictured sitting in a chair alongside numerous others — all socially distanced — in a large room in which several medics were working.

Italy began its vaccination campaign in late December, but like many other countries, the programme has stalled due to supply hiccups.

Mattarella waited until his age group was called up before getting the Moderna vaccine at Rome’s Spallanzani hospital.

He was vaccinated as part of “the campaign for those born in 1941”, his office said in a statement.

New Prime Minister Mario Draghi has promised to step up the pace of the vaccination campaign as infection rates rise once again, fuelled by the spread of new variants.

“We will prioritise the most vulnerable people and categories at risk. Waiting one’s turn is also a way to protect the health of our most fragile fellow citizens,“ he said on Monday.

Italy — the first country in Europe to face the full force of Covid-19 one year ago — on Monday topped 100,000 official deaths from coronavirus.

It has so far administered 5.6 million vaccines, but only 1.7 million people have received the full course of two doses, out of a total population of around 60 million. — AFP



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