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Italy enforces vaccine mandate for the elderly, one of the first European countries to do so

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On Wednesday, Italy made the COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for people from the age of 50, one of very few European countries to take a similar step.

This is an attempt to ease pressure on its health service and reduce fatalities, Reuters has reported. At one of Rome’s vaccination centers in the city’s Music Auditorium, pensioners were welcoming of the new rules.

“I think that it is absolutely correct because if someone is obligated to be vaccinated, it is the right thing because it is saving and looking after others,” said 73-year-old Rome resident Alfredo Pagliardini, after receiving his booster jab. The measure is immediately effective and will run until June 15.

Italy has registered more than 138,000 coronavirus deaths since its outbreak emerged in February 2020, the second highest toll in Europe after the UK.

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