Italy to launch virus vaccination campaign within January

Italy, One of the most affected countries by the coronavirus epidemic, plans to launch a massive vaccination campaign next January, Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza announced on Saturday.

The vaccine drive “will get underway towards the end of January when we hope to have the first doses,” Speranza said in a meeting of pharmacists.

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“This campaign will be without precedent… it will require an extraordinary mobilization” of resources, he said.

Italy, like its European peers struggling to cope with a devastating second wave of the pandemic, has recorded some 1.3 million cases and a death toll of nearly 50,000 since the coronavirus took hold early this year.

There have been global efforts to find treatments and vaccines, and earlier this month US pharma giant Pfizer and its German partner Bioentech reported a landmark event with a job that is more than 90 percent effective.

The company this week applied for emergency use authorization in the US and several other firms look set to follow in due course, with the first vaccines to be rolled out possibly before the end of this year.

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