Why Supply Isnt the Only Thing Stymying Europes Coronavirus Vaccine Rollout – The New York Times

On Wednesday, Mr. Draghi said that differing approaches by the regions to vaccinating people over the age of 80 was unacceptable, adding that some neglect their elderly to favor groups who claim priority based probably on some contractual power.

March 26, 2021, 12:43 a.m. ET

In Tuscany, a region usually admired for its health care system, only about 6 percent of people over the age of 80 have been fully vaccinated, prompting a public letter from leading citizens.

Inefficiency, they wrote, produces deaths.

Matteo Villa, a researcher at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies who has studied the coronavirus pandemic, said that Italys strategy of first vaccinating only health care workers had resulted in a bottleneck that made the virus more deadly.

When the delays came, he said, we still had a lot of elderly people to vaccinate.

Guido Bertolaso, the former head of Italys civil protection agency who is now in charge of the vaccine campaign in Lombardy, said the country had failed to act on emergency footing.

He blamed pharmaceutical companies not making good on their promised deliveries for Italys problems. When you plan, you must know where you get the vaccine, at what time, which amount, on a weekly basis, he said. In any case, he added, In Italy with planning, we are not very good.

Avoidable organizational and logistical problems have slowed the rollout and infuriated Italians. In Lombardy, a wealthy northern region at the center of Italys outbreak, intensive care wards are still packed with older and dying Italians, making it an emblem of Italys missteps.

Every time the phone rings, I hope its them, said Ester Bucco, 84, from Castiglione Olona, in the Lombardy region, who registered two months ago to get vaccinated but has yet to get an appointment. She walks around the house carrying her home phone and said she had started taking anti-anxiety pills to cope. I really want to see my grandchildren.

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Why Supply Isnt the Only Thing Stymying Europes Coronavirus Vaccine Rollout - The New York Times

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