In the serene Belluno region nestled in north-eastern Italy, an unprecedented alliance has emerged to combat the twin health threats of influenza and COVID-19. Bishop Renato Marangoni of the Diocese of Belluno-Feltre, local law enforcement, and union representatives have thrown their collective weight behind the local health authority Ulss 1 Dolomiti's dual vaccination campaign. The campaign, targeted at all individuals above 12 years of age, is set to kick off on Sunday, December 3, with an 'Open day' for vaccinations at the Salce Vaccination Center.
Vaccination Drive in Full Swing
The Veneto region, of which Belluno is a part, has been witnessing a robust vaccination campaign against both influenza and COVID-19. The latter was initiated in October, with the primary focus on vulnerable individuals residing in Residential Structures. The campaign has since expanded its reach, offering vaccinations to the entire population and not just at-risk categories. Access to the COVID-19 vaccine is facilitated through health clinics, participating pharmacies, or General Practitioners who are part of the campaign. Over 57,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered since October, the Veneto Region's Prevention Directorate reported.
Weekend Vaccination Open Days
To make vaccinations more accessible, health authorities are organizing open days for COVID-19 vaccinations on weekends, offering a convenient option for those unable to make it during working hours. Simultaneously, the influenza vaccination campaign is in full swing, with vaccines made available through General Practitioners and pharmacies. The Veneto region has secured one million doses of the flu vaccine, over 628,000 of which have already been administered, thanks to the active role played by General Practitioners.
Targeting High-Risk Groups
Both the influenza and COVID-19 vaccines are being strongly recommended for individuals over 60 years old and those with chronic illnesses. The two vaccines can be administered simultaneously, a move that health officials believe could save lives, given the serious complications both influenza and COVID-19 can lead to, particularly in the elderly and vulnerable populations. This advocacy comes amid a noticeable increase in COVID-19 cases, particularly among the older demographic.
The concerted efforts in the Belluno region and the wider Veneto region illustrate the central role of community engagement and collaboration in tackling public health challenges. As the winter season looms, the twin vaccination campaign offers hope and protection to the region's residents against the double threat of influenza and COVID-19.