Medical staff who refuse to be vaccinated will be reassigned to locations where they will not be in contact with patients if possible. If this is not a feasible option, then they will now face the penalty of unpaid suspension.
The Federation of Italian Doctors and Dental Surgeons believes that the government should go further to make the suspension of legal procedures for unvaccinated workers easier and faster. However, a small number of people in the health care industry still strongly oppose compulsory vaccination.
It is not clear whether the decree is constitutional, and many people believe that legal proceedings against Covid vaccine may be filed in the future.
Roberto Lanna, a pharmacist and pharmacy owner in the suburbs of Naples, told CNN that he was convinced.
He said: “I am not against all vaccines.”
For other countries, this measure is an indispensable step, because Italy is working to curb the third wave of coronavirus infections.
Roberto Agresti, the owner and head of the Fiano Romano nursing home about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Rome, told CNN that the outbreak of Covid-19 cases appeared to be related to unvaccinated caregivers.
He said that in mid-March, of the 36 guests in the Agresti nursing home, 27 had tested positive for the virus and two of them had to be hospitalized.
Agresti said the group of viruses “probably” came from a caregiver who refused to be vaccinated and developed a fever during work on March 16. She was sent home for examination and tested positive for Covid-19 after a swab test.
Speaking of the mandatory vaccination measures passed on Wednesday, he said: “It should be done earlier.” “I only hope that the vaccinated people will work in my nursing home, but I cannot say it until the law is issued.”
He believes that caregivers are mainly “intimidated by the collateral effects of the vaccine magnified by the media,” and hopes that all these people can now change their minds.
Currently, the country has managed three Covid-19 vaccines-AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Monaco-all approved by the Italian Medicines Agency. Common symptoms of vaccination include soreness, redness and swelling at the injection site. Some people who have been vaccinated may also experience headaches, fever, fatigue and muscle aches. However, these minor side effects are normal and expected.
Worries about health
Even before the decree was passed, it was legal to transfer Italian anti-vaccine health workers to non-patient-oriented positions, but the decree would theoretically make it more difficult for employees who oppose vaccination to seek legal action.
Last week, in a nursing home in Belluno, northern Italy, the decision to refuse employees who were vaccinated on paid leave was upheld in court. This was the first legal case in which an Italian company insisted that employees be vaccinated. one. their job.
Last winter, the Covid-19 cluster spread in the facility, killing 15 guests between November and December. Paolo Santesso, the dean of the nursing home, told CNN that when Pfizer vaccines were provided to all healthcare workers in Italy at the end of December, eight of the agency’s 80 nurses refused the injection.
The lawyer for the eight caregivers, Andrea Colle, told CNN that he was preparing to appeal the court’s decision. He said that the reason workers were hesitant to take the vaccine was because they were “worried that their health would be compromised.”
At the same time, Filippo Anelli, head of the Federation of Italian Doctors and Dental Surgeons, said that he was disappointed that the decree did not meet all the recommendations of the alliance. Anelli said in a press statement that the measure “will not have a strong enough impact, and the right to engage in work involving personal contact can only be suspended through muddy procedures.”
Federal spokesperson Michela Molinari told CNN that the agency was also disappointed that the decree was only extended until December 31.
She said that most doctors, nurses and dentists in Italy have received or will receive the Covid-19 vaccine. She said that the percentage of so-called “no falsehoods” medical staff is small, about 100 out of one million doctors and nurses in the country, but they are very loud and very active on social media.
Molinari said that some doctors and nurses were unable to vaccinate due to certain health problems, but even this proportion is very low, about 1-2%.
According to Molinari, the bigger problem is the low level of technical work performed by medical workers in hospitals and clinics and nursing homes, which is “why this decree is needed”.
According to data from the Italian government, as of Thursday night, 10,324,127 doses of vaccine have been vaccinated, of which more than 3 million doses have been provided to health workers. More than 3.4 million people received the first and second doses at the same time.
“Restart the country”
Italian Prime Minister Draghi said on Friday that the Italian government intends to take a hard line because of concerns that health workers who refuse to use the Covid-19 vaccine may become a national problem.
He said at a press conference: “It is unacceptable for medical staff in direct contact with the sick patient to refuse to be vaccinated. The government intends to take action on this.”
Giovanni Toti, the president of Liguria in northwestern Italy, said that 15% of caregivers in the region rejected the vaccine. A judge in Genoa, Liguria, has begun an investigation into the Covid cluster, which may have been caused by a “vax-free” nurse working in the San Martino hospital.
The Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, expressed “very satisfied” with the passage of the decree, adding that winning the “war on health is a prerequisite for a true restart of the country”.
The decree also protects vaccinated persons, who can be excluded from criminal liability as long as they are vaccinated in accordance with the instructions of the Ministry of Health.
Laura Smith-Spark reported in London that Hada Messia and Livia Borghese reported from Rome.