Italy nears COVID-19 herd immunity, says top pandemic official

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 8, 2021
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ROME, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Italy is inching closer to achieving herd immunity against the coronavirus, according to Italy's pandemic commissioner.

Army Corps General Francesco Paolo Figliuolo, also Italy's Extraordinary Commissioner for the Coronavirus Emergency, said that more than 80 percent of eligible residents in Italy had received at least one vaccine dose, and he predicted the same percentage of eligible residents would be fully vaccinated by the end of September.

"Italy is nearing herd immunity," Figliuolo said. "By the end of the month, we will reach 80 percent of the population fully immunized."

Herd immunity refers to a point when enough of a population has resistance to an infectious disease, and it becomes difficult for the disease to spread in that population.

More than 70 percent of those in the 19-29 age group had received at least one dose, which was a milestone for the country, said the general.

Figliuolo also urged caution, noting that 1.8 million Italian residents in their 50s -- a vulnerable age group -- were not yet vaccinated.

"We are making progress, but we also have to learn to live with the virus," he said.

According to the Health Ministry, nearly 39 million Italians had been vaccinated as of Tuesday, equivalent to 72.2 percent of the country's population aged 12 or older. Enditem

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