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Scottish Fertility Clinic Bans Unvaccinated Women From Using Services as Italy Announces Mandatory Vaccination for Over-50s

A top Scottish fertility clinic has withdrawn its services for unvaccinated women, leaving many people upset and leading to calls for First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to address the fact that it may not be limited to just one clinic. EuroWeekly News has more.

Glasgow Royal Fertility Clinic said that “it has been nationally agreed that fertility treatment for unvaccinated women will be deferred with immediate effect.”

Citing Dr Gregor Smith, Chief Medical Officer for the Scottish Government, the update published just before Christmas said that “pregnant women should now be considered as a clinical risk group and part of priority group six within the vaccination programme”.

According to data published in the Scottish Intensive Care Society Report on October 13th, of 89 Covid positive pregnant women who were admitted to critical care between December 2020 and the end of September 2021; 88 were unvaccinated, one was partially vaccinated, and none were fully vaccinated.

The clinic said that said data, from unknown dates, also showed that “98% of pregnant women in ICU with COVID-19 were unvaccinated” and that “all the women who have died during pregnancy or up to six weeks after birth, 88% of them were unvaccinated.”

This has led the clinic, which is located in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, to withdraw its services to unvaccinated women and the “clinic will review this decision during February 2022 or earlier if appropriate.”

“Older women who have their treatment deferred will have the deferral time added back on to their fertility journey to ensure that they do not lose out on eligibility for treatment due to their age,” the clinic said.

Note that the ICU data above doesn’t take into account the proportion of pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant who were vaccinated at the time.

What happened to liberal societies not coercing experimental medical treatment?

The news comes as Italy announces that Covid vaccination will become mandatory for all over-50s from next month in an effort to tackle surging infections. The Telegraph has more.

Unvaccinated Sports Stars Now Unable to Play in Italy

Italy has introduced a mandatory vaccination requirement for all outdoor sports competitors, with those entering the country to play in international tournaments also subjected to the same rules. This would mean that any unjabbed English rugby player will be excluded from the squad, which is due to play Italy in the Six Nations on February 13th. MailOnline has more.

Italy has joined France in making vaccination compulsory for anyone wanting to play outdoor team sports, meaning Premier League players will need to be jabbed in order to move to Serie A this January. 

The Italian Government met this week to implement urgent changes to its Covid restrictions, with every sportsperson in the country, from the professional game to the amateur divisions, needing a ‘Green Pass’ in order to take part.

The ‘Green Pass’ is given out 15 days after a person has been vaccinated for the first time, with the Covid passport-style document also needed to enter swimming pools, festivals, religious buildings, hotels and public transport.

It is unlikely to affect Italy’s top football division as it was revealed earlier this month that 98% of all Serie A footballers are double-jabbed in a league that has been unaffected by the Omicron variant so far.

It is not known how many Liverpool players are vaccinated, though the Premier League did reveal that 16% of top-flight footballers are yet to receive their first dose of the vaccine. 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been fully supportive of players getting vaccinated and claimed earlier this month that the club would not be signing any new players who have not had both doses. 

“I think it (being vaccinated) will be influential, definitely, in who clubs sign,” said the Liverpool manager. “If a player is not vaccinated at all, he is a constant threat for all of us.

“He doesn’t want to be a threat, it’s not that he thinks ‘I don’t care about the others’ but he is.”

Meanwhile, the England rugby team go to Italy on February 13th for their Six Nations clash, so any players who are not jabbed will be banned from playing. 

The new restrictions, which will begin on January 6 when Serie A resumes after its winter break, also affect the fans, who will need a ‘Green Pass’ in order to enter stadia at any level. 

Those sports stars who are double-jabbed will also be exempt from any quarantine rules, but are advised to wear a mask for up to a week after their arrival. 

Worth reading in full.

Italy Tightens Restrictions on the Unvaccinated with ‘Super Green Pass’

From today, all Italians will need to abide by the country’s ‘super green pass’ law, which means that only those who are double jabbed or have recently recovered from Covid are allowed to enter a wide variety of public places, such as restaurants and theatres. Unlike the old ‘green pass’ system, the ‘super green pass’ does not allow for the unvaccinated to provide proof of a negative Covid test, further hindering their right to participate in public life. MailOnline has the story.

Italy has brought in tougher restrictions for unvaccinated people as the holidays draw near, excluding them from indoor restaurants, theatres and museums to reduce the spread of Covid and encourage the unvaccinated to get their jabs.

Only those who have the ‘super green pass’, which requires Italians to be double jabbed rather than providing a negative Covid test result, will be able to fully participate in public life from Monday.

Italian police will be checking will be checking whether those visiting indoor restaurants, bars, concerts, sports events, theatres and public events, have the ‘super’ green health pass until January 15th.

The restrictions follow a steady rise of Covid cases in Italy for the past six weeks, with 15,021 infections recorded on Sunday, and a concern about the new Omicron variant which is believed to be more transmissible than the Delta strain. 

Elsewhere in Europe, leaders have rushed in a raft of new lockdown measures and travel bans amid panic over rising cases and the arrival of the Omicron variant. 

Germany has announced it will lock down its unvaccinated citizens and ban them from most public spaces in the run-up to Christmas, while those in France will have to show proof of vaccination to maintain a valid Covid pass which allows them into public venues.  

Italy’s vaccination rate is higher than many of its neighbours, at 85% of the eligible population aged 12 years-old and older and 77% of the total population. But people in their 30s, 40s and 50s have proved the most reluctant to get vaccinated, with nearly 3.5 million still not having received their first doses.

They are also the same age group that is now being hardest hit by the virus, according to Silvio Brusaferro, head of Italy’s National Health Institute.

Worth reading in full.

Italy to Place Further Restrictions on the Unvaccinated with ‘Super Green Pass’

Under Italy’s current ‘green pass’ system, the unvaccinated must provide proof of a negative Covid test taken within the last 48 hours to be permitted the same rights as the vaccinated, but that is set to change when the country adopts the ‘super green pass’. When the new rules are brought in, the unvaccinated must now show that they have recovered from Covid or get jabbed in order to enter cinemas, gyms, stadiums, and numerous other public venues, although it is not yet apparent whether the measures will be enforced nationally or only apply to local regions with high infection rates. The Guardian has the story.

The ‘super green pass’ is expected to take effect over the next week and would require people to prove they are vaccinated or have recovered from Covid in order to access cinemas, theatres, gyms, nightclubs, ski lifts and stadiums, as well as to be served indoors at bars and restaurants.

Under current ‘green pass’ rules, those who provide proof of a negative test taken within the previous 48 hours are permitted to access those activities.

The Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, has been under pressure from regional governors to impose a stricter health mandate against people who have not been vaccinated. He is meeting cabinet ministers on Wednesday afternoon to give the decree the final nod, according to reports in the Italian press.

Draghi is also reported to be contemplating making the Covid vaccine obligatory for the police force and teachers.

It is unclear if the new pass would be required across Italy or only in regions with high infections and where hospitals are under strain.

Italy introduced its green pass in August and made it mandatory for workplaces in October. It is also required for boarding long-distance trains and domestic flights. Under the new measure, unvaccinated people will still be able to travel and access their workplace with proof of a negative test.

The workplace mandate intensified protests across the country, especially in the northern city of Trieste, where there has been a sharp rise in infections and hospitalisations in recent weeks. Calls for tighter rules have been led by Massimiliano Fedriga, the president of Friuli Venezia Giulia, the region surrounding Trieste.

This month Fedriga, a politician with the far-right League, described the anti-vaccination and anti-green pass protests as “idiocy”. He said on Sunday that the super green pass was not discriminatory and the only alternative would be another lockdown.

Umberto Lucangelo, the head of an intensive care unit at a hospital in Trieste, recently said 90% of Covid patients were unvaccinated and many had been involved in the protests.

The tougher rules have been supported by regional presidents from across the political spectrum. Stefano Bonaccini, the centre-left Democratic party president of Emilia-Romagna, told Ansa: “I think people who are vaccinated should have a preferential path in those places of social and cultural life, in particular, in order to prevent them from having to close.”

Worth reading in full.

Italy Makes Covid ‘Green Pass’ Mandatory for All Workers

The Italian Government will force all workers – both in the public and the private sectors – to have a ‘Green Pass’ proving that they have either been vaccinated, tested or recently recovered from Covid. Those who don’t comply could have their pay stopped after five days and businesses that don’t check passes will be heavily punished. BBC News has the story.

The measure, due to come into force on October 15th, aims to boost vaccinations in a country that has been badly hit by the virus. 

Green Pass certificates for Covid, provided both digitally and on paper, are already required to access Italian train stations, cinemas, restaurants, gyms and swimming pools. 

School staff are also required to show a pass and some teachers have reportedly been turned away from work.

On Thursday, the Italian Government approved a new law to extend the requirements to all workplaces and employees across all sectors, including the self-employed. 

Businesses and staff could face fines of up to €1,500 (£1,280) if people are found to be working without a valid Green Pass.

Announcing the decision, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said the new measures would improve safety and “make our vaccination campaign even stronger”. 

“The implementation of a pass such as the one we are bringing into force with this decree will, we are certain, help us push forward this vaccination campaign,” he said. 

Despite a vocal anti-vaccination minority, Italians have broadly backed the Government’s vaccination campaign.

Nearly 65% of Italians have now been fully vaccinated, but infections have been rising, driven by the Delta variant.

We followed Italy’s lead on locking down. It’s not inconceivable that we could do the same on Covid passes.

The BBC News report is worth reading in full.

Italy, Austria and Germany Could Be Added to “Green List” This Week

Reports suggest that more countries could be added to the Government’s “Green List” later this week, which would allow unvaccinated Brits to holiday abroad without needing to quarantine when back in the U.K. The MailOnline has the story.

Italy, Austria and Germany are among the potential destinations that appear to pose a low enough risk to be downgraded in a review due on Thursday.

The move could make life easier for Brits who are desperate to get away, but have yet to receive both doses. 

People who are double-jabbed are due to be exempted from having to self-isolate on return to “Amber List” countries from “Freedom Day” next Monday.

But they will have to prove they are fully vaccinated, and there fears of huge delays as the rules are eased. …

Meanwhile, Britons will still need to consider the restrictions that are being imposed by other countries – with many trying to stop the Delta – or Indian – variant being imported from the U.K. …

Experts have predicted that a dozen more countries could be added to the Green List – where vaccine status is not an issue for the restrictions in England – in a review on Thursday. 

Former BA strategist Robert Boyle told the Telegraph that Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Canada, Austria, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Taiwan now meet the criteria for the loosest controls.

That would bring the total on the Green List to 39, with any changes expected to take effect from next week. …

Under the new arrangements, travellers will still be required to fill out a passenger locator form with details of their home address.

They will also need to confirm they have booked a day two PCR coronavirus test. Border Force agents must insect [sic] the documents for passengers at passport control. However, airlines will be responsible for checking vaccination status.

Border officers have warned that the huge rise in bookings since the loosening was announced will mean long queues.

Before Covid, three-quarters of people who passed through the U.K.’s border did not require any documentation checks other than verifying that their identity matched their passport.

Lucy Moreton, Professional Officer for the ISU Immigration Union, representing frontline border staff, told the Times: “This decision will open up foreign travel to a large number of new travellers. But we are not set up to cope with that sort of demand. 

“There is no way that the border can maintain that level of checks as the number of travellers increase.

“We’ve got away with it so far because the number of travellers are so low. But even at this point we’re seeing queues of one to two hours. 

“From the number of bookings we’ve seen already, we’ll easily see three, four-hour queues when people start returning from their holidays.”

Worth reading in full.

Covid Vaccinations Made Mandatory for All Health Workers in Italy

The Italian Government has mandated Covid vaccines for all health workers, warning that those who do not take the jab could lose their jobs at least until the end of the year. The Mail has the story.

Italy has mandated Covid vaccines for all health workers in a move aimed at crushing anti-vax sentiment.  

Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who stands at the vanguard in the EU’s jabs battle with Britain, said health workers, including pharmacists, who refused the vaccine could be struck off until the end of the year. 

Italy’s vaccine roll-out, dented by the EU’s failure to secure AstraZeneca doses, is faltering with just 16.03% of its population inoculated, compared to more than 50% of people in Britain, amid soaring infections.

The country’s entrenched anti-vaccination movement came into sharp focus after the recent discovery of clusters of hospital staff refusing the jab despite Italy having Europe’s highest death toll. …

Italy’s Government said today: “The aim of the measure is to protect as much as possible both medical and paramedical staff and those who are in environments that may be more exposed to the risk of infection.”

The decree also introduces legal protection for those who administer the jabs, a measure doctors and nurses had demanded after medics were placed under investigation for manslaughter following the death of a vaccinated man in Sicily.

Cabinet plans leaked last month revealed that care home workers in England will also be required by law to have a Covid jab. Similar requirements are being considered for other healthcare workers, such as those who work on hospital wards. The Telegraph reported:

The Cabinet sub-committee paper warns that a “large” number of social care workers may quit if the change is made, and that successful lawsuits on human rights grounds could be possible. It makes clear that a similar legal requirement is being considered for some frontline healthcare workers, such as those on wards, but no decision on that has been taken. …

Its key line is understood to read: “The Prime Minister and the Secretary of State [Mr Hancock] have discussed on several occasions the progress that is being made to vaccinate social care workers against Covid and have agreed – in order to reach a position of much greater safety for care recipients – to put in place legislation to require vaccinations among the workforce.”

The sentence makes it clear that both have decided in principle to change the law to require the vaccination of social care workers, even as the specifics are worked up. Government officials are discussing what the legislation would look like, with consultation on a final detailed proposal expected.

The Italian Government’s decision to mandate vaccines for all health workers is likely to encourage the British Government to extend its current plans – in the same way that Italy played a crucial role in bringing lockdowns to Britain last year. In December, Professor Neil Ferguson revealed that Italy boosted the confidence of British pro-lockdown officials:

[China is] a communist one party state, we said. We couldn’t get away with it in Europe, we thought. … And then Italy did it. And we realised we could.

The Mail’s report is worth reading in full.

Italy and France to “Quickly Resume” AstraZeneca Rollout When EU Medicines Agency Gives Green Light

The leaders of Italy and France have made it clear that they will “quickly resume” their countries’ rollouts of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine when the European Medicines Agency gives the green light, as it’s expected to on Thursday. MailOnline has the story.

The leaders of Italy and France today committed to “quickly” resume inoculations of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine once the European regulator gives the all-clear. 

Italian PM Mario Draghi and French President Emmanuel Macron appeared to roll the pitch for an imminent climbdown.

On a call the two leaders agreed they were ready to resume using the jab “quickly” if the European Medicines Agency (EMA) gives the green light on Thursday.

Mario Draghi’s office said “the preliminary statement today from EMA was positive”. The EMA has found “no indication” that AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine is the cause of reported blood clots.

A top European Commission official today urged EU governments to stop sitting on their vaccine stockpiles.

Stella Kyriakides, the Health Commissioner, said the bloc was in a “race against time” to roll out the vaccine or face several more spikes in infections.

The EU has already seen a disastrous rollout of the vaccine across the continent, with just 8% of adults receiving a jab compared to a third in the UK.

There have been supply problems with both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer jabs, but it was revealed earlier that several countries including Germany are sitting on stockpiles.

“Even with the immense and regrettable challenges around production capacity and deliveries, there are reports of unused reservoirs of vaccines across the EU,” said Kyriakides following talks with European health ministers. …

While Italy has used all of its Pfizer jabs, the country still has 250,000 AstraZeneca vaccines that it banned from going to Australia in storage.

According to the Times, there are some 14.2 million jabs (60%) delivered to EU governments that are yet to be used. 

It seems as though this saga is coming to an end. But might another now commence over Pfizer’s Covid vaccine, which has been linked to more blood clots than AstraZeneca’s in reports from the UK? That’s unlikely given that the Chief of Italy’s medicines regulator has claimed that bans across Europe of the AstraZeneca vaccine were the results of “political” choices.

Worth reading in full.

Italy Set to Impose National Lockdown Over Easter Weekend

Italy is set to impose another national lockdown over the Easter weekend. The decree is expected to be signed into law later today. Sky News has the story.

[This lockdown] will see non-essential shops closed from April 3rd to April 5th, with people only allowed to leave their homes for work, health or emergency reasons, according to a draft Government decree seen by Reuters news agency.

The country – the first in the world to impose a national Covid lockdown just over a year ago – will also enforce tighter restrictions in low-risk areas from Monday.

Those measures – which form part of an existing four-tier colour-coded system – will see movement between towns in “yellow” regions limited and restaurants and bars shuttered.

The news comes just days after Italy surpassed 100,000 coronavirus deaths – the sixth country worldwide to do so after the US, Brazil, Mexico, India, and the UK.

In February, Will Jones wrote on the first anniversary of a day that will “live in infamy” – when the Italian Government quarantined a whole local population in an effort to control a coronavirus outbreak. Over a year later, they’re trying the same failed remedy again.

Worth reading in full.

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