Italy hits 1 million mark for COVID-19 vaccinations

Italy hits 1 million mark for COVID-19 vaccinations

TORONTO — Italy’s tourism board says the country is taking every measure to make Italy a safe place to visit post-pandemic, with 1 million vaccinations achieved in just 19 days.

ENIT says Italy is the first country in the EU to have surpassed 1 million vaccinations, with a total of nearly 2% of its population having now received the vaccine.

The destination currently ranks sixth in the world for the number of vaccinations, and second in Europe.

Italy began rolling out phase one of its vaccination programme on Dec. 27 and has already vaccinated all National Health Staff. As part of phase one, Italy is hoping to have all residents 80+ years of age, and care home residents, vaccinated by the end of January, bringing the total number of vaccinated persons to 2 million.

As part of phase two of the vaccination program, which will be rolled out from February to June, Italy is aiming to vaccinate a further 21 million people, including those with underlying health conditions, teachers, and over 60s.

Phase three will offer vaccinations to all essential service workers, and phase four will see the rest of the population hopefully vaccinated by the end of December 2021.

“We are pleased to have hit one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, just 20 days after the nationwide vaccination program was launched,” says Salvatore Basile, ENIT Manager for Canada.

Basile adds: “With our plans in place, we will see the second phase of vaccinations being rolled out next month with the hope to see a significant impact later in the year. We are taking every measure possible to ensure Italy is a safe destination to travel to.”

Basile says that with the continuation of the vaccine roll out, ENIT hopes to establish consumer confidence in visiting Italy once again when it is safe to do so.

“It is certainly a positive milestone for the destination and is seen as a step forward in our recovery for the travel industry,” he said, adding that with an abundance of rural towns to explore, art cities and a host of anniversaries and celebrations planned for this year, Italy is an ideal destination to visit when it is safe to do so.