The office of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Wednesday issued a controversial decree requiring all health workers in the country to receive a coronavirus vaccine to work.
Reuters reported that there have been growing suspicions about the vaccines in the country and that some hospital workers have flatly refused the shot. Doctors or nurses who refuse the vaccine could face a one-year suspension without pay, according to the report.
The decree also introduces legal protection for those administering the vaccine in response to a manslaughter investigation of doctors after a man dies after receiving the vaccine, according to the report.
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The report says 109,000 people have died in the country of about 60 million people.
Rome’s decision to impose vaccines on health workers is seen by some as another government overshoot. The country’s response to COVID-19 claimed the work of Draghi’s predecessor, Giuseppe Conti.
Last week, Draghi vowed during a visit to Bergamo that the country’s vaccination campaign would be speeded up.
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At the start of March, two-thirds of deaths from the virus in Italy concerned those over 80; the median age of pandemic deaths in Italy currently hovers above 80 after reaching 85 last summer.
“We are here to promise our seniors that it will never happen again if the frail is not adequately supported and protected. This is the only way we will respect those who have left us, ”Draghi said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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