Because it is debated whether to postpone the Italian green pass from one to two doses of the vaccine

Because it is debated whether to postpone the Italian green pass from one to two doses of the vaccine

There are variants of the Sars-Cov-2 coronavirus, the effectiveness of vaccines and the need to be as cautious as possible. Apparently, however, no new decisions will be made before having better understood what is happening with the delta variant in Italy

(photo: Steven Cornfield / Unsplash) The rules for managing the pandemic, as we know, are very fluid and changing, and varying on the basis of scientific evidence, new epidemiological data and issues between politics and common sentiment. And this is how for the green pass - already today with different rules between our country and the rest of Europe - there seems to be no peace: a few days after its introduction in Italy (and a few hours after the entry into force of that of the European Union) there is already talk of changing the requirements to obtain it. But let's go in order.

The difference between the Italian and European green pass

In short, the Italian green pass has been calibrated to be less restrictive - and therefore to include more people - compared to what is generally valid in the Old Continent. In both cases it can be obtained by demonstrating that you have been cured of Covid-19 for less than 6 months (through an appropriate certificate of healing), that you have a swab (molecular or antigenic) with negative results for less than 48 hours, or following the vaccination. But if the green pass to move between EU countries requires 15 days to pass from the second dose of vaccine (except for the single-dose formulation of Janssen), the Italian one can be obtained as early as 15 days from the first dose, thus anticipating the other one. a few weeks - the exact number depends on the particular vaccine formulation received.

The reason for these more permissive rules for our country is that, remaining within national borders, we intend to allow a wider audience of people to access the pass, given that the pass itself is a necessary condition for participate in sporting events, musical events, parties or celebrations such as weddings. A decision that is a substantial turning a blind eye, given the scientific evidence that vaccines reach their maximum effectiveness only after the double dose. But which seemed justified not only by the collective desire to restart with the opportunities for meeting and socializing, but also by the current favorable trend in terms of the number of new cases, deaths and intensive care occupation.

To give a rough numerical estimate, the people in Italy who can currently access the green pass as vaccinated thanks to this loose rule are roughly 14 million more. And it is precisely this group of Italians that explains why the green pass has already obtained a very high number of electronic downloads, quantified at 13.7 million by the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza with the data updated at the end of last week.

The reasons for thinking about the change of rules

What several scientists, members of the scientific technical committee and representatives of institutions have feared in the last few hours, starting with Undersecretary for Health Pierpaolo Sileri, is the possibility of realigning the rules for the Italian green pass to the European ones, that is, postponing the green light from the first to the second dose of vaccine.

The reasons behind this assessment, which at the moment is only at the stage of mere hypotheses, there are at least three. First of all, the current rules are the result of an evaluation dated more than two months. Months in which, especially from the point of view of the variants of Sars-Cov-2, the situation seems to have progressively changed. So it is not in itself a surprise that the rules can be readjusted periodically, even if at the moment the idea sounds a bit crazy given that the European green pass in fact has yet to enter into force, and will do so from Thursday 1 July.

The second reason is in fact the scientific uncertainty that still remains regarding the efficacy of the various vaccine formulations against variants, both for those already more widespread and emerging ones. In general, however, messenger AR vaccines seem to guarantee good protection if administered in double doses for all variants known so far, but it is now well established that coverage performances are lower if limited to the first dose only. Finally, but perhaps first in importance, is the fact that in other countries that had eased the measures there is a rise in the epidemic curve, therefore we would like to prevent this from happening in Italy as well, or at least activate all the precautions necessary to contain the spread of the virus as much as possible.

As with the color zones and masks, rules and conventions are naturally a compromise between scientific evidence, political will, effective circulation of the virus and needs that arise in economic and social terms. Therefore, the indication on whether and how to vary the current parameters can hardly come unilaterally from the scientific world, but it will necessarily be the result of mediation. Especially at a time of the year when the theme of travel, travel, events and exhibitions is more at the center of attention than ever.

What to expect

No decision on the Italian green pass seems however imminent. There are those who speak of waiting a week, those of waiting for two, those (like Minister Speranza) already clarify that it will be a step-by-step evaluation with more than one possible variation. Meanwhile, the special observations are mainly three: the trend of the contagion curve in the United Kingdom, where the delta variant (and the delta plus) seems to have spread particularly widely and where we can therefore observe in advance what could happen in the our country. Then the trend of infections along the entire peninsula, paying particular attention to possible signs of interruption of the descent of the curves or even of a trend reversal. To date, for example, it is estimated, through preliminary data, that the prevalence of the delta variant in Italy is close to 20%. And finally, the improvement of the quantitative scientific evidence regarding the efficacy of the single dose and the double dose of each vaccine against the variants monitored with more attention.

The possible hypotheses for the remodeling of the Italian green pass are obviously well more numerous than the dichotomous choice between 15 days after the first dose and 15 days after the second. For example, theoretically, a differentiation based on the type of vaccine received could be inserted - if the scientific evidence suggests it - or the temporal distance between the two doses could be modified. In practice, if until now it made sense to keep the two doses further apart (within the tolerance range indicated by the regulatory authorities) to vaccinate as many people as possible with the first dose, in case of conforming to the European green pass it would be convenient to approximate the two administrations. , to allow you to get the green pass more quickly.

All this without neglecting a couple of important communication issues. Creating complex or changing rules could generate confusion, as the already very wide variety of cases in which people can find themselves would seem to suggest. And then the race for the green pass could let pass the idea that with the green certificate you can forget those prevention rules that instead remain in force and decisive: masks in indoor places or with too many people, hygiene, attention to any symptoms and so on.

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Coronavirus Europe Italy Health Vaccines Vaccine coronavirus Sars-Cov-2 variants globalData.fldTopic = "Coronavirus, Europe, Italy, Health, Vaccines, Coronavirus vaccine, Sars-Cov-2 variants "

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