There is a date for herd immunity in Italy: October 28, 2021. It is the prediction of the English company Airfinity, specialized in scientific analysis, based on current data in Italy. For October 28, according to Airfinity al Corriere della Sera, in Italy he will have received the double dose of vaccine 75 percent of the population, an adequate number of people to offer protection from Covid-19 to the entire population.
In fact, herd immunity means the coverage provided by the vaccinated population to that not yet vaccinated, which remains exposed to the virus but shielded by those who have undergone the vaccination.
Those provided by Airfinity are forecasts, therefore no certainty, also given the vulnerability of the vaccination campaign, already delayed by the difficulties experienced with the AstraZeneca vaccine and by the delays in the delivery of the vials. At the moment, in Italy the inoculated doses have exceeded the quota of 16 million.
As explained to the Courier service Carolyn Casey, chief analyst for Covid-19 at Airfinity : «The difficulties that arose after the approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine delayed the achievement of herd immunity in Italy and other European countries by about four weeks». For countries that have decided not to reintroduce the AstraZeneca vaccine, after the first stop following the rare cases of thromboembolic events, the expected delay is at least six weeks.
Another unknown factor is that linked to the percentage of the population that can actually guarantee herd immunity. A figure that also varies according to the type of vaccine used and therefore its effectiveness. According to Airfinity, protection for the entire population is achieved with 70 percent of completed vaccinations. Several experts believe that the same result can already be achieved with 60 percent of the vaccinated population. At the moment, the certainty, also given the unknown factor of the variants to the virus in circulation, is that of a further recall in 2022.
Finally, according to Airfinity analysts, in September, based on the current pace of the vaccination campaign underway, “EU countries could begin to remove barriers to travel by allowing free movement”.