Italy’s government is considering extending the Covid vaccine requirement for healthcare workers, as new cases have risen amongst medical staff.

Plans to make third doses of the Covid vaccine obligatory for healthcare workers is due to go before the Council of Ministers this week.

Health Minister Roberto Speranza said last week that a mandatory booster shot for medical professionals will come “very soon”, according to La Repubblica.

“Let’s speed up third doses to stop the fourth wave,” stated Speranza following the publication of health data showing a further worsening of the health situation across the country.

“The increase in infections is objective. What should we do? Let’s say it’s like realising that the water is rising. We have no time to lose,” he said. “We must play in advance, as this virus has taught us that it moves quickly,” he added.

The proposal follows on from health data which revealed the rise in infections among healthcare staff has tripled in the last two months, reports The Local.

Between September and November, the Covid incidence rate amongst medical staff increased by 192.3%, as per data published on Friday in the latest report from the health ministry and the Higher Health Institute (ISS).

However, earlier this week, Health Undersecretary Andrea Costa played down reports Covid curbs would be tightened more due to the rise in cases, stating the situation in Italy was “under control”.

“We should look to the coming weeks with confidence while being aware that we certainly have not emerged from the pandemic,” he told Radio 24.

Since September, the Italian government has been contemplating making vaccinations mandatory for more groups as it seeks to vaccinate 90% of the eligible population.

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