Fines for unvaccinated against Covid-19 are creating problems especially for the vaccinated

Fines for unvaccinated against Covid-19 are creating problems especially for the vaccinated

Some would call it "an ugly mess" in the Italian style. Someone else a symptom of a lack of coordination between the operational arms of the public machine. Still others a perfect storm of a healthcare that declares itself digital, but that digital is not really all the way through. The fact is that in recent days it has become evident that the operational phase of sending and collecting the fines for non-vaccination against Covid-19 is more complex than expected. According to what was declared by the Revenue-Collection Agency (the Ader), the fines sent were 600 thousand in April, 600 thousand in the first twenty days (approximately) of May, with further letters ready to go. In fact, official data say that the over 50s who have not respected the vaccination obligation are roughly 1.7 million.

If on the one hand there is more than one perplexity as to the fact that the symbolic one-off euro may really have convinced a significant portion of those hesitant to get vaccinated, on the other hand it seems that the worst headaches concern those who have been diligently (and reasonably) vaccinated, and now find themselves in the hands of the fine despite being perfectly in order. Because 100 euros are certainly not a figure for panic attacks or gestures of extreme anger, but it is still a nuisance, above all because it is unfair.

Many newspapers, especially those rooted in the territories, have reported in the the last few days a series of problems relating to fines that arrived for no reason and the technical and procedural difficulties in making an appeal, also talking about how working groups (operational task forces) have been put together at the local level to manage a flood of appeals - often just, sometimes unjust - arrived in a few days. But let's go in order.

Why and to whom unjust fines have arrived The reasons that may have led to a fine for lack of vaccination being sent to a person in good standing are the most varied. Apparently, at least according to what has emerged so far, in many cases it was a question of computer misalignment of the various databases. The management of the fines is in fact entrusted to the aforementioned Ader (which is necessary because there is an administrative penalty involved), which must interface and coordinate with the local health authorities. Various journalistic sources have reported that a wrongly filled field, a mismatch between the health card database and the tax code or a document not correctly entered in the system is sufficient to ensure that the person is not in order, and therefore receives a casa la fine.

From the most cringe to the most tolerable cases, incidents of fines have been reported that have come to people who have long died (in fact, these are often over 50 years old and have hardly been vaccinated recently) , fines to those who, despite being alive, have not yet reached 50 years of age, to those who have recently fallen ill with Covid-19 and therefore had the right to postpone the vaccination, to those who had actually obtained a certificate of legitimate - temporary exemption or permanent - and also to those who have simply done everything in order and perhaps have not seen the doses received correctly recorded.

Specifically, the recent Covid-19 cases and those exempted are tr most of the time it is due to the failure to load (or to the loading in some way wrong) of the relative certification, while in other cases it is not entirely clear where the problem was. Certainly one of the difficulties is linked to the fact that in the period preceding the entry into force of the vaccination obligation not all documentation was adequately managed, because at that time it was not actually necessary.

To add further complexity c 'it is also an interpretation that is not very clear (or at least not homogeneous) of the legislation in force, especially with regard to the so-called "latecomers". That is, people who have completed the vaccination cycle to date, but have done so with a certain latency (sometimes just a few days) with respect to the legal obligation, that is, who did not have the second dose on February 1st or who did the two doses on schedule but then refused the third dose. For these people with a non-standard vaccination history, there are health companies that have been inflexible, even reporting those who completed the vaccination course in February or stopped at two doses, and others who considered the 4 weeks of February to be a tolerable delay - therefore not to be sanctioned - and have turned a blind eye to the booster dose. Further chaos has been created for those people who are "justified latecomers", since due to Covid-19 they have had or could have moved the injections a little further in time.

The problem of appeals Last but not least, the procedure for appealing and obtaining the cancellation of the fine is rather complex, in a certain sense paradoxical, and - above all - can only be done in record time: within 10 days from receipt of the document. The element that seems to create more ambiguity concerns who to appeal to: the correct procedure set out in black and white by the government involves appealing to the local health company, but many people (apparently already more than 80 thousand) actually turn to the Revenue Agency or the Ministry of Health, with the main risk of wasting precious days waiting for a response simply redirected to the health company.

The strangeness of this procedure is that the local health company i fined by mistake, they must in fact send documents produced by the company itself, which had perhaps been badly recorded or badly managed in the passage first to the Ministry of Health and then to Ader. And, immediately afterwards, the fine must also communicate directly to the Adder that he has updated his position, in a certain sense anticipating the health company. All this means, among other things, that an updated single national count of pending proceedings is not possible, and the involvement of several institutions in each case multiplies the probability of anomalies, road accidents and misunderstandings.

Returning to the appeal, once the documents have been shared with the health company, it has 10 days to let Ader know if the fine should be canceled or not (and for this it is necessary that each health company is equipped to deal with the appeals quickly). If the fine is confirmed, the communication arrives within 6 months. A second appeal can then be presented to the justice of the peace within a month (with the risk of having to pay the judicial costs, in addition to the fine), or if you agree to pay the time limit is two.

Uncertainty about the future As is known, on June 15 the vaccination obligation for over 50s (and also for teachers, law enforcement and school staff) will be lifted, and only that for the health personnel, until the end of the year. On how the appeals will be handled from mid-June onwards, however, remains a big question mark. This is because the condition of non-compliance with the obligation will lapse, and even if strictly speaking those who are not vaccinated should still be fined, it is not certain that the process will reveal some flaw or quibble that invalidates the procedure. In fact, the discrepancy between the norm and the practice is by no means negligible.

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