ROME (AFP) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi was on Tuesday (March 30) vaccinated against the coronavirus with the AstraZeneca jab, his office said, in an announcement intended to show support for the vaccine.
The 73-year-old and his wife were vaccinated at a centre at Rome’s central Termini station, a spokesman said.
Italy suspended use of the AstraZeneca-Oxford jabs for several days earlier this month following fears of a link to blot clots, before the European Medicines Agency gave the all-clear.
The World Health Organisation has also said the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe to use.
Mr Draghi, who took office last month, has promised to ramp up the number of vaccinations in Italy, which was the first European country to face the full force of the pandemic and is currently battling a deadly third wave.
Much of the country remains under tight restrictions, although schools and nurseries reopened in the Lazio region surrounding Rome on Tuesday, two weeks after being shuttered, after it was reclassified from a “red zone” to a lower-risk “orange zone”.
“It’s great to have them back but I don’t know what the point was. We’ve just lost two weeks of school,” said one teacher in northern Rome, who asked not to be named.
The whole country will be put under a “red zone” lockdown over the long Easter weekend starting on Saturday in a bid to limit the number of new cases of Covid-19.
More than 108,000 people have died of the coronavirus so far in Italy, according to the official Health Ministry toll, including 417 reported in the 24 hours to Monday evening.
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