Italian authorities are examining whether the Italian mafia is redirecting the country’s supply of coronavirus vaccines away from those who need it most and giving it to their friends and family, according to a report.
Deaths among the elderly have increased in the country, which has struggled to roll out its vaccines, and the prime minister has blamed the increase for young people to skip the line.
As of the end of January, around seven in ten people who had received the vaccine in Italy were under the age of 60 and at least 1,000 suspected line jumpers were under investigation nationwide, according to Politico.
ITALY CORONAVIRUS: HEALTHCARE WORKERS NEED TO BE VACCINATED OR FACED WITH YEAR SUSPENSION, SAYS REPORT
“With what conscience does someone jump in the queue, knowing that it leaves another person vulnerable, who is over 65 or fragile, and who has a concrete risk of death?” Prime Minister Mario Draghi said at a press conference.
According to Politico, around 8,000 lives could have been saved in Italy if more elderly people had been able to get vaccinated, according to an international think tank.
The mafia often exerts control over health care in the country, especially in the south, Politico reported, where the number of people calling themselves health workers has increased exponentially as the group is among the first to be vaccinated, which raises suspicion.
Several regions in the south are said to have shot well connected people like judges, politicians and journalists as much as people over 80.
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“People get vaccinated who do not fall under any priority category specified by the government, especially in some areas where the mafia is very dense, and we suspect that the mafia is handling the vaccinations”, Mario Giarrusso, member of the anti country. -mafia commission, Politico said.
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