Italy stocks up on flu vaccinations

03 Sep 2020

Italian authorities are concerned about the number of flu vaccinations produced in the country as fears grow that there will be a higher demand for doses, amid the pandemic. 

President of Farmindustria, the association that represents Italy’s pharmaceutical companies, Massimo Scaccabarozzi said, “It’s a big challenge. We were preparing for an increase, but not such a significant number. Companies are working hard to deliver on time. The other challenge is if the regions all want the doses at the same time, but if timing is staggered it shouldn’t be a problem.”

To date, around 17 million vaccination does have been ordered to be shared by Italy’s 20 regions. This pushes the total amount 50% higher than that ordered in 2019. 

“We don’t have so many companies here that produce the vaccine, which is why I kept saying in April that we needed a programme as other European countries were earlier.”

In addition, whilst speaking on a radio station yesterday, deputy health minister Pierpaolo Sileri confirmed that the Italian government could order more doses of the vaccination. 

“We are worried about symptoms overlapping and for this reason we must also make sure there are [coronavirus] swab tests available as there could be a peak demand for those at the same time as a flu peak.”

Scientists have urged the public to take the flu dose this year to take precaution against any virus. “If we can reduce transmission of the flu, this will help hospitals and emergency units to manage better. The flu vaccine doesn’t provide 100% protection, but it would help very much. However, there is a serious worry that we will not have enough doses,” scientist Massimo Galli said.

Italy has around four to eight million cases of flu annually.