Covid vaccine, 1.7 million doses are missing. Vaccine stocks are almost out

The government revises down its first quarter supply forecast. Today comes a million Pfizers that allow to “save” recalls for the over-80s. More margins for AstraZeneca after the stop of the past few days.

The arrival today of a million doses of the Pfizer vaccine is good news. But those vials are unlikely to speed up the vaccination campaign. They’re going to keep up the pace. And, above all, to avoid a real emergency. That is, the risk of not completing the planned recalls 21 days after the first dose. But there is another number to look at carefully. Almost 1.7 million doses will be missing from total deliveries planned throughout the first quarter. In the latest table of the Ministry of Health, 15.69 million doses were indicated. But according to the forecasts of the structure led by Commissioner Francesco Paolo Figliuolo we will reach “over 14 million”. It is no surprise, given that the pharmaceutical companies have never fulfilled their commitments, not least because of the substantial lack of sanctions in the event of a delay. But it doesn’t help.

Now 18% of the vials are stationary in warehouses. But a distinction has to be made. The bottom line is that we have few vaccines, Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna, for those who need it most, people over 80. While there are no issues for that, AstraZeneca, reserved for categories that should come next. As of last night, only 5% of Pfizer’s doses remained in the freezers, just over 300,000 doses out of a total of 6.6 million delivered. Running harder, with this vaccine reserved for healthcare professionals and over-80s, was impossible. Until a few weeks ago, the regions had an obligation to keep a 30% stockpile aside, precisely in order to guarantee recalls. Removing this constraint made it possible to go a little faster. But without the million doses coming in, recalls would have been a problem.

It doesn’t help much the other vaccine reserved for ultra-80s to healthcare personnel, Moderna. The numbers are too small to be meaningful. The doses delivered do not reach half a million, and even here there is not much to accelerate since 72% of them have been used. The situation is different for AstraZeneca, which however cannot be used for the over-80s and which instead has been given to teachers, the military, the police and those professional categories that have made so much discussion. The doses delivered are almost two and a half million and we used 52%. Just over half. And this, essentially, for the four days of detention after the precautionary stop decided last week by Italy and other European countries. As well as people’s distrust of this vaccine.

Precisely to avoid further slowdowns, Liguria and Tuscany also prepare the reserve lists, to replace those who do not show up. The fact remains that vaccination is the best weapon against Covid, along with protection measures. A study by the Higher Institute of Health confirms the reduction of infections and deaths in the RSA, where immunization started earlier.

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