On Wednesday, Mr Draghi said that the regions’ different approaches to vaccinating people over 80 were unacceptable, adding that some “are neglecting their elderly to favor groups who claim priority based probably on contractual power”.
In Tuscany, a region generally admired for its healthcare system, only around 6% of people over 80 have been fully immunized, prompting a public letter from prominent 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 Italy’s strategy of only vaccinating healthcare workers first had created a bottleneck. strangulation that made the virus more deadly.
“When the delays happened,” he said, “we still had a lot of older people to immunize.”
Guido Bertolaso, the former head of the Italian civil protection agency who is now in charge of the vaccination campaign in Lombardy, said the country had not acted on an emergency basis.
He accused drug companies of failing to deliver on promised deliveries for Italy’s problems. “When planning, you need to know where you get the vaccine, at what time, how much, on a weekly basis,” he said. In any case, he added, “In Italy with the planning, we are not very good. “
Avoidable organizational and logistical problems slowed the deployment and infuriated the Italians. In Lombardy, a wealthy region in the north at the center of the Italian epidemic, intensive care wards are still filled with older and dying Italians, making it an emblem of Italy’s missteps.
“Every time the phone rings, I hope it’s them,” said Ester Bucco, 84, of Castiglione Olona, Lombardy, who signed up two months ago to be vaccinated but who does not yet have an appointment. She walks around the house carrying her phone home and said she started taking anti-anxiety pills to cope. “I really want to see my grandchildren.”