The most popular scientist in Italy, who has hit his predictions going against the current of the most optimistic, insisted this Saturday that “we are one step away from a new variant of coronavirus vaccine resistant”.
Professor Andrea Crisanti, director of the Department of Microbiology at the University of Padua, launched the most serious alarm While the Indian Delta variant is expanding rapidly in Italy, the rest of Europe and worldwide are already present in 119 countries.
“With a rapidly changing virus like the Delta, we don’t have the ability to update vaccines and keep up with variants. It takes a couple of months to reformulate the vaccine and another six months to distribute it. Meanwhile, the virus will have galloped, ”said Crisanti by various media.
“To monitor the epidemic, it is not enough to look at the data on hospital admissions and deaths: the traces of the movements of the virus must be traced to anticipate its extraordinary capacity for mutations and limit transmission,” he added.
The danger of a disaster of this magnitude occurring has been partly accepted by the World Health Organization itself.
Dozens of variants lurking
To stay alive, the coronavirus that was born in China at the end of 2019 and spread rapidly around the world, he realizes mutations that allow it to continue attacking its victims.
The successful deployment of vaccines, their worst enemy, stimulates the internal changes of viral substances. In Italy alone, 81 variants have been identified in recent months, of which the Delta is the one with the highest viral load with a contagion power of 60% more than the English variant, the previous dominant one.
In Italy, which registered 880 daily cases at the end of June, in recent days there have been five thousand infections every 24 hours and in midsummer, when it was thought that the spread of the virus was declining.
It is believed that in August the 10,000 daily cases will quickly pass, which could reach 30,000 by the end of next month.
“Run in Europe, run in the world,” noted a newspaper headline.
The Delta variant, which in some Italian regions has become 60% dominant, is no more lethal than the previous Alpha, also called English.
Hospital admissions and intensive therapies remain at a very low level, which shows the formidable barrier represented by vaccinations, that according to the experts resists the action of the virus well, in particular to avoid the most serious cases and the deaths.
More than half of Italians over the age of 12, 29.4 million people, have been immunized and 63.5 million doses have been given that also create about 30% protection with just one of the two doses.
The rate of vaccinations in hundreds of centers distributed throughout the country is more than half a million daily inoculations, pointed out the General Francesco Figliuolo, who leads the campaign.
With the spread of the Delta variant and those over 60 years of age, the most fragile population, with priority on vaccinations, infections mainly affect unvaccinated young people.
Priorities have shifted towards youth age levels. First Pfizer and now Modern (considered the best vaccine), were authorized to send doses to inject to the age group between 12 and 17 years.
The focus on adolescents
General Figliuolo pointed out that immediate efforts are focused on the eight and a half million high school students.
The school year will begin on September 7 and the objective, according to the military, is that 63% of the students have received at least the first dose.
A serious problem is that more than 220 thousand teachers, professors and personnel of the educational community continue without being vaccinated.
If the volume of the opponents to the saving injection is maintained it is studied to declare mandatory that the personnel of schools and colleges be vaccinated to give the students the greatest security. Otherwise they could even lose their jobs.
Refusal of compulsory vaccination
The issue of mandatory vaccinations against the pandemic creates continuous frictions and protest movements, because political rights feed rebellions.
A prime example is the far-right leader Matteo Salvini, the leader of the League, who has repeatedly accused the center-left sector of the government of which Salvini is a part of practicing “terrorism” and maintaining excessive measures to fight the pandemic.
The young leader of the right-wing Brothers of Italy party, Giorgia Meloni, the only opposition political force and in continuous struggles with Salvini for the leadership of the Italian destra, has also aimed the cannons for what she considers attacks on individual freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution .
Prime Minister Mario Draghi announced in the middle of this week the creation of the Health Passport, which contains the vaccinations that each citizen received.
More than 40 million have received the “Green Certification” electronically.
From August 6 it will be mandatory to show the Health Passport that indicates the vaccinations to eat in the bars and restaurants in the internal sectors.
Also to go to the cinema, the theater, the stadiums, the gyms, the cultural and musical centers. In September the rules will be issued for long-distance trains, ships and airplanes.
A part of the rights, majority in Italy, are in favor of the Sanitary Passport and do not share the attacks of Salvini and Meloni on the contrast measures to the virus that pass through Roberto Speranza, the Minister of Public Health, who belongs to a small left party.
Salvini and Meloni had never been vaccinated and maintain ambiguous positions to capture the consensus of the “no vax” movement that is organizing new protests against the Health Passport.
Prime Minister Draghi went on the counter-offensive after announcing the “Green Certification”. He said recommending Italians not to get vaccinated is “a message of death.”
His words fell like a bomb. On Friday Salvini unexpectedly announced that he had been vaccinated. Public opinion considered it a defeat.
The figure of Draghi received a new boost of popularity and their close relationship with the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, has made them a political duo of enormous popularity.
In two days, the reserves to be vaccinated grew up to 200% in some regions.
The government has consolidated its stability. A right-wing newspaper summarized the situation: “Salvini runs to get vaccinated, Meloni goes to war.”
The polls indicated that the young leader of the Brothers of Italy displaced Salvini from the first place of the consensus towards the political leaders. On the other hand, the popularity of Prime Minister Draghi and President Mattarella passed 72%.