Italy Blames Pfizer Delays With Vaccinations Slowing to a Crawl
Italy’s coronavirus vaccination campaign could come to a near standstill next week amid rising anger across Europe over a slowdown in vaccine deliveries.
“We received 29% fewer doses this week, and there will be a further 20% decline next week” fromPfizer Inc. and its partnerBioNTech SE, the country’s virus emergency czar Domenico Arcuri said in a press conference on Thursday. Since Saturday the pace of vaccinations has slowed to 28,000 a day from about 80,000, with shots halted altogether in some areas like Rome and the surrounding Lazio region.
The slowdown makes it even more difficult for European countries, already lagging behind the U.S. and the U.K. in the race to vaccinate citizens, to step up the pace of inoculations. Italy, which aims to vaccinate the whole population by this fall, is already delaying the next step in its campaign, which involves giving shots to those over 80. So far, Italy has vaccinated 1.3 million people, or 2.1% of the population.
Even more ambitious targets in other European countries may also be at risk. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursdaypromised that all Germans who want a shot will get one by Sept. 21. In Denmark, authorities aim to vaccinate everyone who wants a shot by June 27.
182,695 in U.S.Most new cases today 54,485,450 Vaccine doses administered in 51 countries
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