Vaccine rollout in Italy

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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by shpalman » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:16 pm

Regarding the AstraZeneca rollout to teachers and university staff, the region is going to need a list of all those eligible, and my university sent around an email this afternoon saying, well, I'm not entirely sure what it's saying.
we inform you that the University is working, in accordance with the request received from [the ministry of education] for the definition of the COVID-19 vaccination plan, in order to verify the accuracy and completeness of the data referring to the lists of university staff.

The verification was promptly requested, in relation to the following categories of staff: professors, researchers, post-docs, contract professors and technical administrative staff.

In this phase it is not necessary that the staff take any action to report or verify any data.

At the moment we have not received any further information regarding the implementation of the vaccination plan. It will certainly be the responsibility of the University, if requested, to collaborate fully with the relevant bodies in order to facilitate access to the vaccination plan as it will be defined.

It will also be our responsibility to inform all the personnel involved of the developments.
I think it's saying "yeah we're on it... no, we don't know either".
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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by shpalman » Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:44 am

shpalman wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:16 pm
Regarding the AstraZeneca rollout to teachers and university staff, the region is going to need a list of all those eligible, and my university sent around an email this afternoon saying, well, I'm not entirely sure what it's saying.
we inform you that the University is working, in accordance with the request received from [the ministry of education] for the definition of the COVID-19 vaccination plan, in order to verify the accuracy and completeness of the data referring to the lists of university staff.

The verification was promptly requested, in relation to the following categories of staff: professors, researchers, post-docs, contract professors and technical administrative staff.

In this phase it is not necessary that the staff take any action to report or verify any data.

At the moment we have not received any further information regarding the implementation of the vaccination plan. It will certainly be the responsibility of the University, if requested, to collaborate fully with the relevant bodies in order to facilitate access to the vaccination plan as it will be defined.

It will also be our responsibility to inform all the personnel involved of the developments.
I think it's saying "yeah we're on it... no, we don't know either".
Someone on the staff mailing list, who has taught for the city's other university and is therefore on their mailing list too, has shared the email he got via their administration, which seems somewhat more detailed and thought-through than ours.

In particular, as of yesterday they were supposed to fill in an online questionnaire to, I suppose, confirm they wanted the vaccine (I don't know, obviously I can't access it) and to figure out who would be at greater risk*. They also have a plan to do antibody testing on anyone who wants it by the 14th of March, so that priority for the vaccine can be given to those without anitbodies**.

Frankly I just think it's a lot of words to stall for time because the f.cking doses just aren't f.cking arriving so it doesn't f.cking matter what we do.

* - even though being at greater risk due to age or pre-existing conditions would mean you shouldn't be considered for the AstraZeneca rollout, but should rather get the Pfizer vaccine

** - something like 6% of the population of the province of Milan have officially tested positive so far; maybe we could roughly double that to take into account massive undercounting during the first wave but it would still be 10-15%. So it's hard to see it making much of a difference to the vaccine rollout, apart from fiddling with the order a bit.

Still, got to dick about with something while the f.cking doses don't arrive and Lombardy fails to get its arse in gear.

According to https://www.governo.it/it/cscovid19/report-vaccini/ which hasn't yet been updated this morning, 542400 AstraZeneca doses have been delivered; 38681 school-related people have received a dose. 99 of them are in Lombardy. Not sure if I can be bothered to add a column to my spreadsheet for this.
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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by shpalman » Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:13 am

Ah wait this morning's update is in, so Lombardy has only managed to vaccinate 99 school personnel out of a national total which is now 41801.

Remind how many hundreds of thousands of people the UK managed to vaccinate yesterday? And how you don't have to dick about with priority lists and antibody testing if you're just going to do everyone.
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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by shpalman » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:19 am

OK... so a discussion about the vaccine rollout has kicked off on our staff mailing list. People are complaining that (a) other universities in Milan seem more organized and (b) other universities in other regions have already started vaccinating their professors. Well, (a) means nothing because all the university can do at the moment is compile a list of eligible subjects and give it to the health service of Lombardy. Anything else is just the university making itself look busy while it waits (or maybe those other universities have less of a sense of the demographics of their staff). And (b) is just because Lombardy is badly run by right-wing morons who aren't getting around to organizing this thing properly.

There are a couple of professors over the age of 65 complaining about this, who wouldn't be eligible for the AstraZeneca vaccine anyway and would have to wait for Pfizer (or Moderna) which so far has only just started on the over-80's so I don't know what they're expecting from this.

(Although regarding point (b) Lombardy was also slow in starting the Pfizer rollout to medical staff but quickly caught up to the point at which the rate limiting step was the arrival of doses; I expect a similar thing will happen here.)

I hope it's joined-up enough that being employed in Milan but living in Como means I'll be counted once, and not twice and not Como and Milan both considering me to be the other's problem.
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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by shpalman » Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:58 pm

Another half million or so AstraZeneca doses have arrived, so there's now more than a million delivered; fewer than 80,000 have been given to people. So yeah I'll stop complaining about the vaccines not arriving and keep complaining about the local government instead.
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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by shpalman » Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:37 am

AstraZeneca has told the European Union it expects to deliver less than half the Covid-19 vaccines it was contracted to supply in the second quarter
The expected shortfall, which has not previously been reported, follows a big reduction in supplies in the first quarter (AstraZeneca planned to deliver about 40m doses in the first quarter, again less than half the 90m shots it was supposed to supply).

... the company had told the bloc during internal meetings that it “would deliver less than 90m doses in the second quarter”.

AstraZeneca’s contract with the EU, which was leaked last week, showed the company had committed to delivering 180m doses to the 27-nation bloc in the second quarter.
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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:23 am

Oh ffs :(
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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by shpalman » Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:39 am

Well when the contract said "best effort" and their best effort sucks, but they're not going to lose any money because they weren't making any money from this in the first place, supplying the vaccine at cost, well...
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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by shpalman » Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:35 am

Von der Leyen reckons that the EU is “catching up” with the UK’s coronavirus vaccination programme

This is a level of b.llsh.t which I can't even.

“In Italy, with a population similar to that of Great Britain, twice as many citizens received full vaccination protection with the second dose as in the UK.”

Well, that's because Italy stuck to Pfizer's protocol regarding the second dose. But it had to basically suspend giving first doses in the meantime. We only recently got some AstraZeneca vaccines to give (about 1 million) but it messes up the order of the rollout since the EU decided not to approve them in the part of the population for which there's no efficacy data.

(Italy has given 3.7 million doses in total and is going at a rate of about 600,000 per week; the UK has given more than 18 million at a rate of just under 3 million per week.)
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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by Herainestold » Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:50 pm

shpalman wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:39 am
Well when the contract said "best effort" and their best effort sucks, but they're not going to lose any money because they weren't making any money from this in the first place, supplying the vaccine at cost, well...
Are any of the manufacturers producing as much as they had promised? Capitalism at its finest.

I am reading that the FDA in America is on the verge of approving J&J,(who are also having production problems) but nobody seems to be mentioining AZ anymore.

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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by shpalman » Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:18 pm

Incidentally, to get an order of magnitude of how many teachers there are in Italy, this from 2015 suggests over 600,000.

Probably about 60,000 university researchers and professors. Post-docs probably aren't counted in that, but do count for vaccination purposes.
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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by shpalman » Wed Feb 24, 2021 6:43 pm

We're going to have 66 vaccination hubs in Lombardy, to vaccinate ALL THE PEOPLE

Image

by the end of June.

(assuming the vaccines actually arrive)

(The video linked to in there suggests 1.1 million vaccines arriving by the end of March, of which 356,000 AstraZeneca, 179,000 Moderna, 579,000 Pfizer)
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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by shpalman » Wed Feb 24, 2021 6:57 pm

Oh but I see they managed to get a hold of the preprint from Scotland which the journalists say says that the vaccine works.
grainy-bullshit-preprint.jpg
grainy-bullshit-preprint.jpg (62.55 KiB) Viewed 186 times
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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by shpalman » Thu Feb 25, 2021 12:57 pm

shpalman wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:19 am
OK... so a discussion about the vaccine rollout has kicked off on our staff mailing list. People are complaining that (a) other universities in Milan seem more organized and (b) other universities in other regions have already started vaccinating their professors. Well, (a) means nothing because all the university can do at the moment is compile a list of eligible subjects and give it to the health service of Lombardy. Anything else is just the university making itself look busy while it waits (or maybe those other universities have less of a sense of the demographics of their staff). And (b) is just because Lombardy is badly run by right-wing morons who aren't getting around to organizing this thing properly.

There are a couple of professors over the age of 65 complaining about this, who wouldn't be eligible for the AstraZeneca vaccine anyway and would have to wait for Pfizer (or Moderna) which so far has only just started on the over-80's so I don't know what they're expecting from this.

(Although regarding point (b) Lombardy was also slow in starting the Pfizer rollout to medical staff but quickly caught up to the point at which the rate limiting step was the arrival of doses; I expect a similar thing will happen here.)

I hope it's joined-up enough that being employed in Milan but living in Como means I'll be counted once, and not twice and not Como and Milan both considering me to be the other's problem.
Another thing which came up is that we have staff who officially belong to the National Research Council rather than being direct employees, and they weren't obviously on the list even if some of them do teaching assistance and CNR fellows at other nearby universities seem to have been included.

I understand the principle but it doesn't make sense for them to boycott in-person teaching if those of us on the list haven't had the vaccine yet either and don't know when we'll get it.

Term has already started by the way, but my course is in the second half of it, starting mid April, but the current situation (cases will probably climb through 200/week/100,000 in a day or two) is unstable.

There's a nice but pointless article, Retrospective analysis of the Italian exit strategy from COVID-19 lockdown, predicting how badly the summer could have gone but didn't, submitted right before the second wave kicked off, accepted while the second wave was at its peak, and then published online when things were starting to come down again, which therefore in the end doesn't predict a cock.
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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by shpalman » Sun Feb 28, 2021 9:27 am

Press release about the vaccination program in universities in Lombardy

It was pasted into our staff mailing list this morning, but this other university has put it online.

So, it concerns 15,000 people, and it will proceed not according to age but according to which areas have more covids, until the whole region is covered.

On Tuesday (2nd March) they'll start sending the vaccines to the universities who will then sort it out themselves.

We'll see how far this gets before either (a) AIFA decides to follow Germany in recommending the AstraZeneca vaccine to over-65's, thus putting the national rollout back into age-group priority order and/or (b) Lombardy's covid situation gets bad enough to force universities to go 100% online so that it becomes difficult to justify priority for lecturers and teaching assistants.
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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by shpalman » Sun Feb 28, 2021 1:18 pm

By the way, Italy has been managing about 120,000 doses per day but wants to double this by the end of March. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is part of this plan, as is Sputnik V assuming Europe gets transparent data on its efficacy.
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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by shpalman » Mon Mar 01, 2021 8:21 pm

Another half million AstraZeneca doses arrived in Italy; out of 1.5 million doses so far about 233,000 have been given.

Tomorrow some of them should at least be given to the universities in Lombardy.

Lombardy doesn't seem to have vaccinated many teachers* yet - only 249 (out of a national total of 167,464).

Although I note that while Lombardy is current Orange, Como (the entire Province) (and some other councils in Lombardy which have high or spiking case rates) will become "reinforced Orange" as of Wednesday, which is basically the same as Orange except for the schools being closed.
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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by Grumble » Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:46 pm

shpalman wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 8:21 pm
Another half million AstraZeneca doses arrived in Italy; out of 1.5 million doses so far about 233,000 have been given.

Tomorrow some of them should at least be given to the universities in Lombardy.

Lombardy doesn't seem to have vaccinated many teachers* yet - only 249 (out of a national total of 167,464).

Although I note that while Lombardy is current Orange, Como (the entire Province) (and some other councils in Lombardy which have high or spiking case rates) will become "reinforced Orange" as of Wednesday, which is basically the same as Orange except for the schools being closed.
The negativity towards the Astra-Zeneca vaccine is baffling.
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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by jdc » Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:10 am

Grumble wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:46 pm
shpalman wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 8:21 pm
Another half million AstraZeneca doses arrived in Italy; out of 1.5 million doses so far about 233,000 have been given.

Tomorrow some of them should at least be given to the universities in Lombardy.

Lombardy doesn't seem to have vaccinated many teachers* yet - only 249 (out of a national total of 167,464).

Although I note that while Lombardy is current Orange, Como (the entire Province) (and some other councils in Lombardy which have high or spiking case rates) will become "reinforced Orange" as of Wednesday, which is basically the same as Orange except for the schools being closed.
The negativity towards the Astra-Zeneca vaccine is baffling.
If you mean reluctance to take the vaccine in European countries, I'm not sure it's that baffling. They gave a group the wrong dose by mistake, reported three figures for efficacy which were all lower than Pfizer and Moderna initially reported, then there were the reports in German newspapers, plus I think Macron calling it "quasi-ineffective", and regulators saying they had insufficient data in older participants so couldn't recommend it for over-55 / over-65.

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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by Millennie Al » Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:23 am

jdc wrote:
Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:10 am
If you mean reluctance to take the vaccine in European countries, I'm not sure it's that baffling. They gave a group the wrong dose by mistake, reported three figures for efficacy which were all lower than Pfizer and Moderna initially reported, then there were the reports in German newspapers, plus I think Macron calling it "quasi-ineffective", and regulators saying they had insufficient data in older participants so couldn't recommend it for over-55 / over-65.
And then they made a huge fuss over AstraZenica deliveries not being as planned. I think they need to get on with using what they've got and if they continue to leave stocks unused they should stock allocated to them to be passed on to some other country which is willing to use them (e.g. via Covax). There are plenty places around the world where they still have no vaccine stocks.
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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by Herainestold » Tue Mar 02, 2021 2:07 am

jdc wrote:
Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:10 am
Grumble wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:46 pm
shpalman wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 8:21 pm
Another half million AstraZeneca doses arrived in Italy; out of 1.5 million doses so far about 233,000 have been given.

Tomorrow some of them should at least be given to the universities in Lombardy.

Lombardy doesn't seem to have vaccinated many teachers* yet - only 249 (out of a national total of 167,464).

Although I note that while Lombardy is current Orange, Como (the entire Province) (and some other councils in Lombardy which have high or spiking case rates) will become "reinforced Orange" as of Wednesday, which is basically the same as Orange except for the schools being closed.
The negativity towards the Astra-Zeneca vaccine is baffling.
If you mean reluctance to take the vaccine in European countries, I'm not sure it's that baffling. They gave a group the wrong dose by mistake, reported three figures for efficacy which were all lower than Pfizer and Moderna initially reported, then there were the reports in German newspapers, plus I think Macron calling it "quasi-ineffective", and regulators saying they had insufficient data in older participants so couldn't recommend it for over-55 / over-65.
There was also the Russian disinfo campaign against AZ
https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articl ... to-russia/

and the fact that the American FDA has still not approved it.

But yeah, if they don't want it in Europe send it to some place that needs it.

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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by Grumble » Tue Mar 02, 2021 7:09 am

jdc wrote:
Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:10 am
Grumble wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:46 pm
shpalman wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 8:21 pm
Another half million AstraZeneca doses arrived in Italy; out of 1.5 million doses so far about 233,000 have been given.

Tomorrow some of them should at least be given to the universities in Lombardy.

Lombardy doesn't seem to have vaccinated many teachers* yet - only 249 (out of a national total of 167,464).

Although I note that while Lombardy is current Orange, Como (the entire Province) (and some other councils in Lombardy which have high or spiking case rates) will become "reinforced Orange" as of Wednesday, which is basically the same as Orange except for the schools being closed.
The negativity towards the Astra-Zeneca vaccine is baffling.
If you mean reluctance to take the vaccine in European countries, I'm not sure it's that baffling. They gave a group the wrong dose by mistake, reported three figures for efficacy which were all lower than Pfizer and Moderna initially reported, then there were the reports in German newspapers, plus I think Macron calling it "quasi-ineffective", and regulators saying they had insufficient data in older participants so couldn't recommend it for over-55 / over-65.
I’m including Macron and German newspapers words in the bit I find baffling, along with the batshit decision not to recommend for older people. The reaction of the populous to the anti-vaccine sentiment of their media and regulators is understandable.
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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by shpalman » Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:29 am

Regular readers of my posts (both of you) will have seen my attempts to find the actual publications with the numbers in that AstraZeneca proponents and detractors were referring to in their tweets and newspaper articles, and figure out what they actually mean. Most recently, the b.llsh.t "cuts transmission by two-thirds"* thing which turns out to be "efficacy against symptomatic or asymptomatic (but mainly symptomatic) covid of 63.9% between 22 and 90 days after the first dose"**. Or that whole "8% isn't the efficacy in older subjects it's the proportion of older subjects in the trial" thing where it turned out there was one infection in the treatment group and one infection in the control group so the >0 efficacy (plus 100%, minus infinity) only came from the control group being slightly smaller.

That latter seems to be some extra unpublished data which the regulators apparently get to see which maybe we haven't properly seen, or maybe we'll get to see eventually, or maybe it will be different by the time it's peer-reviewed.

In this case though I think it's just a case of having to organize a second rollout in parallel with the main one, and Lombardy in particular being sh.t at it.

Angelo Borrelli's term as head of Italy's Civil Protection has come to an end and he's been replaced by Fabrizio Curcio, who did it from 2015-2017 but left for personal reasons.

* - see the last line in Table 2 in https://ssrn.com/abstract=3777268

** - see the last line in Table 2 in https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 3621004323 but note the negative numbers in the asymptomatic efficacy part of table, and the low numbers of asymptomatic cases generally.
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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by shpalman » Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:47 am

There's an open letter to Guido Bertolaso* published in the Corriere della Sera the other day saying it's unfair that 70-year-olds are being excluded from the next phase of the rollout in favour of "younger, more productive" bands of the population.

Take it up with (a) AIFA, whose guidelines recommend the AstraZeneca vaccine for subjects in good health in the 18-55 age range, and the more efficacious mRNA vaccines for older subjects and/or those with pre-existing conditions as well as those medical workers exposed to high risk (who should all have been done by now anyway); (b) Pfizer and the EU who negotiated the contract with them, who have only delivered 4.5 million doses to Italy so far since the beginning of the year. It would have been much simpler to have carried on down the age groups rather than have to setup a parallel rollout for the <55 age range. Lombardy has done about 62,000 non-care-home over-80's, which is of the order of 10% of them.

(I do however note that if you look at the heatmaps for infections (not deaths) vs. time and age in England, there's a dip in the younger-but-retired age range.)

* - in his current capacity as the consultant for Lombardy's vaccine rollout.
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Re: Vaccine rollout in Italy

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:50 am

shpalman wrote:
Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:29 am
Regular readers of my posts (both of you) will have seen my attempts to find the actual publications with the numbers in that AstraZeneca proponents and detractors were referring to in their tweets and newspaper articles, and figure out what they actually mean. Most recently, the b.llsh.t "cuts transmission by two-thirds"* thing which turns out to be "efficacy against symptomatic or asymptomatic (but mainly symptomatic) covid of 63.9% between 22 and 90 days after the first dose"**. Or that whole "8% isn't the efficacy in older subjects it's the proportion of older subjects in the trial" thing where it turned out there was one infection in the treatment group and one infection in the control group so the >0 efficacy (plus 100%, minus infinity) only came from the control group being slightly smaller.

That latter seems to be some extra unpublished data which the regulators apparently get to see which maybe we haven't properly seen, or maybe we'll get to see eventually, or maybe it will be different by the time it's peer-reviewed.

In this case though I think it's just a case of having to organize a second rollout in parallel with the main one, and Lombardy in particular being sh.t at it.

Angelo Borrelli's term as head of Italy's Civil Protection has come to an end and he's been replaced by Fabrizio Curcio, who did it from 2015-2017 but left for personal reasons.

* - see the last line in Table 2 in https://ssrn.com/abstract=3777268

** - see the last line in Table 2 in https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 3621004323 but note the negative numbers in the asymptomatic efficacy part of table, and the low numbers of asymptomatic cases generally.
Yes, the whole thing is pretty odd. It shouldn't be this difficult for the public to see accurate trial results. There have been loads of contradictory "leaks" of data circulating on Twitter, plus second hand reports of what the regulators have seen, but as far as I can tell neither a paper nor a preprint with all the results in.

Given that AstraZeneca have form for bribing officials, hiding side effects and so on I'm not sure it's unreasonable to be a iffy.
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