ROME. Via the masks and the Green Pass: these are the two strongest signs of the return to free all in Great Britain, after the long emergency phase linked to Covid. As planned, the last phase of the lifting of the restrictions has started in England, while the other nations of the Kingdom are gradually aligning themselves. Evidence of a return to normal, strongly desired by the government, thanks to the success of the vaccination campaign and of the third doses. Decisive boosters for the reduction of hospitalizations, which also convinced Israel to contain the audience for the fourth dose: only for high-risk adults and the over 60s.
January 27, 2022 was the date chosen by London to abandon the plan B restrictions that had been adopted after Omicron’s surge. And we returned to plan A, based on vaccinations, in the face of a decrease in new infections and with hospitalizations at a minimum for months. So the British have resumed going to shops and taking public transport without the obligation of a mask, the imposition of smart working has disappeared as well as the roof for visits to nursing homes. The (short) parenthesis of the vaccine mini Green Pass for discos and mass events has also been filed. Obligations replaced by recommendations to behave responsibly, because the virus continues to circulate. All this was possible thanks to vaccines, which make the British the leaders in Europe with 37 million boosters administered. And that “they are restoring more freedom to this country”, underlined Health Minister Sajid Javid.
Third doses are also considered a key element in the rest of Europe to approach the end of the pandemic and to abandon the latest restrictions. The ECDC, the center for disease control and prevention, estimated that boosters administered in January could reduce future hospital admissions linked to Omicron by “500,000-800,000 units”. And “the extension of the recall program to all individuals could reduce hospitalizations by another 300,000-500,000,” the body added.
So far in the EU about 70% of the 450 million inhabitants have received two doses but only half the booster. In a phase in which Omicron continues to run, the ECDC again detected, which in its map on the spread of Covid has marked almost all the areas in dark red. This is the case, for example, of Germany, where new infections exceeded 200 thousand for the first time, albeit with a decline in deaths. In a country that continues to lag behind on immunizations (74% of the population has received at least one dose, much less than Italy, France and Spain). The effectiveness of boosters for reducing hospitalizations strengthens the front of experts who call for caution on the fourth dose. According to the French Council for Vaccination Strategy Guidance (COSV), it is not necessary at this stage, except for “severely immunocompromised people”. The Ema in recent days has expressed the same opinion, warning against excessive use of recalls in a short period of time. Israel, the first country in the world to administer the fourth dose, has now also moved along this line, offering it to the entire audience of over 60s (up to now 600 thousand). But the health authorities have decided that the second booster will be extended only to high-risk over 18s and at least 4 months after the third injection.