The back to school and office effect begins to be felt. After a gradual and constant decline in infections that continued from after mid-August, the Covid case curve returns to rise: in a week the new positives have increased by about 10 percent. It is the first sign of the possible arrival of a first autumn wave. At the moment there are no effects on hospitals – even if the decline in hospitalizations is slowing – but it is striking that over 80% of hospitalized for Covid did not take the fourth dose. The new booster dedicated to the over 60 and frail was done only by 16% of the audience and even after the arrival of the first bivalent vaccine for Omicron 1 the injections did not increase.
The possible arrival of a new wave
The numbers speak for themselves, for the first time since mid-August the infections are rising. If in the week from 8 to 14 September 109,156 new cases were recorded in the following week (15-21 September) they were 123,422. This is a slight rise, but it is the first clear sign of the possible arrival of a new wave already in the autumn, as predicted by the EMA, the EU drug agency. Which invites once again to primary vaccination for those who have not done so and, for others, to take advantage of vaccines adapted to the new variants of a virus in continuous and rapid mutation. “With the approach of autumn – said the head of the Ema vaccine strategy, Marco Cavaleri – we must prepare for a new wave of infections in line with the trend shown by the virus in the last two years”.
Hospitalizations still in decline, but 80% did not take the fourth dose
Meanwhile, hospitalizations continue to decline, but much less than in the previous weeks: -3.3% in the last week according to the monitoring of Fiaso, the Federation of health and hospital companies, which underlines that based on the data of its sentinel hospitals, the vast majority of cases of hospitalization for respiratory-pulmonary pathology from Covid, or 83.5%, “are patients who have received the last dose of vaccine for over 6 months and have therefore not undergone the booster dose”. The survey was carried out on 20 September last among the sentinel hospitals belonging to the Federation network which brings together hospital managers. “The high number – says the president Fiaso, Giovanni Migliore – continues to testify to the scarce use of the fourth dose and this requires the utmost commitment not only of health companies but also of family doctors”.
Slow motion vaccination campaign
The vaccination campaign continues to go in slow motion despite the arrival of the new bivalent vaccine adapted for Omicron 1 intended for the new booster for the frail and over 60, but also for those who still have to take the third dose: from 12 September, the first day of new vaccine, the average of the fourth doses is still around 10 thousand injections per day, to which are added about 3 thousand third doses. Practically the same numbers that were recorded before the arrival of the new adapted serum. So far, of the overall audience targeted by the fourth dose, only 16.5% have been protected with the booster, with wide regional differences: from 27% in Emilia Romagna and Piedmont to 7% in Calabria and Sicily. Now we expect the arrival of the new bivalent vaccine adapted for Omicron 5, the most widespread sub-variant in Italy at the moment. The hope is that the new vaccine will convince the many undecided to protect themselves in view of the autumn and of a new possible wave.
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