Administration of COVID vaccines began Tuesday in an asylum seeker reception center in the port city of Bari in Italy's southern province Puglia. A total of 400 people have signed consent forms to be given the vaccine.
Administration of COVID vaccines began Tuesday (September 7) in an asylum seeker reception center in the port city of Bari in Italy's southern province Puglia. The measure is part of an inoculation plan for populations without a stable place of residence.
A doctor from the prevention department and three nurses from Italy's emergency services were administering the vaccines inside a hub set up in the reception facilities. An external ambulance with emergency equipment and a defibrillator have been made available for those hosted in the facilities in case of need.
A total of 400 people, with an average age of 26, have signed informed consent forms necessary for the vaccine. They are from Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Iraq, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan and Togo.
Protecting migrants from the virus "is a priority", Prevention Department Director Domenico Lagravinese said. "Their high exposure to the virus makes it necessary to bring in targeted interventions for these groups."
Since March 2020, only 21 COVID cases at Bari center
"I would like to thank the Bari prefect's office and the local health authority, who accepted our request to organize this vaccination day," said Michele Di Lorenzo, the director of the center, which is run by the Auxilium cooperative.
"Since the beginning of the health emergency, we have activated all necessary measures to ensure the safety of those hosted, who outside of the facilities live integrated in the Bari community. Proof of this is that, since March 2020, out of about 3,900 asylum seekers that transited through the center, only 21 tested positive for COVID-19."
Migrants in San Ferdinando tent city vaccinated as well
On September 3, vaccination also began for migrants in the San Ferdinando tent city in the Reggio Calabria province, which hosts migrants working in nearby fields.
"Following activities that began in early July in order to start a new path for the progressive recovery of legality and liveability in the area of the San Ferdinando tent city, COVID/19 vaccines were administered to those living at that site," the Reggio Calabria region police station noted in a statement.
After that, it continued, "131 non-EU citizens received a second dose of the vaccine and 74 others expressed a desire to receive the first dose."