As winter looms and a 4th wave of the Covid-19 pandemic grips Europe, Italy announced on Wednesday that people from forty years of age can avail of a booster shot from December 1.
The country has already offered boosters to people aged 60 and above who received their last vaccine dose at least six months earlier.
Italy has credited its lower infection rate with a successful vaccination campaign. Nearly 84% of those 12 and older and eligible for the jabs are fully vaccinated.
The wearing of masks in places like supermarkets, cinemas, churches and on public transport is mandatory thought the country.
Other measures to stem the spread of the virus include, a Green Pass certification of vaccination, recovery from COVID-19 or a negative test in order to access workplaces.
Speaking in Italy’s Chamber of Deputies, health minister Roberto Speranza on Wednesday called the boosters “an essential piece of our strategy to combat COVID.”
According to government figures, nearly 40% of people already eligible for the boosters in Italy have received the third dose.
Fourth wave in Europe
Elsewhere in Europe, Germany on Thursday reported a record 50,196 new cases of coronavirus.
It’s the fourth day in a row it has posted a fresh daily high, as a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections engulfs the country.
The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases is now 4.89 million.
Russia reported 1,237 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, close to a record one-day toll recorded the previous day, amid a nationwide increase in cases.
Meanwhile, Denmark will impose self-isolation requirements on travellers from Singapore, following a surge in COVID-19 infections.
Singapore was removed this week from a European Union list of non-EU countries for which travel restrictions should be lifted.