People lined up to get vaccinated against COVID-19 at Palermo's Fiera del Mediterraneo | Photo: ANSA/Igor Petyx
People lined up to get vaccinated against COVID-19 at Palermo's Fiera del Mediterraneo | Photo: ANSA/Igor Petyx

About 40 migrants received coronavirus vaccines in Palermo, southern Italy, on Tuesday. This was part of the regional government's effort to make the coronavirus immunization campaign more inclusive.

Roughly 40 young immigrants living in the Noce area of Palermo received vaccines against COVID-19 on Tuesday morning at the Centro Diaconale of the city's Waldensian Institute -- a Christian charity and community organization. The migrants were reportedly from Mali, Ghana, Nigeria, and Guinea.

Coronavirus vaccination initiative

The vaccinations on Tuesday were part of the "Accanto agli Ultimi" ("Near the Last") initiative launched by the Sicily regional government to make the immunization campaign against the coronavirus more inclusive.

"We are very pleased," commented Anna Ponente, the director of Centro Diaconale. "We had a very large number of requests. Seeing so many men and women that want to get vaccinated is a sign of hope and change."

The COVID-19 commissioner of Palermo, Renato Costa, said he was pleased as well about the initiative, which he said was able to vaccinate over 900 people in under two months. Most of them would not otherwise have been vaccinated, he said, because they live in difficult conditions, and would not have been able to reach the various vaccination hubs.

Vaccines for 200 Bangladeshi migrants

"Unfortunately, marginalization is more widespread in this city than we think," Costa said. "However, at the same time, the great thing about Palermo is its being infinitely alive and in solidarity with others. We saw this with our own eyes with Accanti agli Ultimi."

Migrants from Bangladesh are also being vaccinated through the initiative. On Monday evening, the first group of citizens from the Bangladeshi community arrived at the Fiera del Mediterraneo in Palermo for their vaccinations. According to officials, roughly 200 people will be vaccinated this week -- about 30 people per day are being vaccinated.

 

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