Italy aims to give all over-60s COVID vaccine in Q2: health minister

Italians receive Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, in Rome

MILAN (Reuters) – Italy aims to administer a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to everyone over 60 by the end of the second quarter, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Thursday.

Speaking at a parliamentary hearing, Speranza also said he hoped there will soon be clarity over the Johnson&Johnson jab, which has been suspended over side-effect concerns, in order to clear its use.

The AstraZeneca vaccine “like all vaccines marketed in Europe, is safe and effective, it saves lives,” Speranza said.

He warned that a hasty easing of lockdown measures in Italy would only trigger more infections and new restrictions, so any easing needed to be introduced carefully and gradually.

(Reporting by Francesca Piscioneri, writing by Maria Pia Quaglia, editing by Gavin Jones)

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