Italy’s Draghi pledges vaccine boost as Covid cases surge

Italy’s new premier has pledged to triple the number of daily vaccinations administered throughout the country as coronavirus cases rise.

Mario Draghi inspected a vaccination centre at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport on Friday and noted the pace, now running 170,000 shots daily, had picked up this month.

Italy’s medicines agency blocked the use of one batch of AstraZeneca vaccines, after “several grave adverse events” were reported, Mr Draghi said, describing it as a “precautional decision” in line with other European nations.

Meanwhile, Italy is tightening Covid-19 restrictions for Easter weekend as many hospitals warn they are running out of ICU beds for coronavirus patients.

The government decided at a Cabinet meeting the entire nation will be under strict “red zone” rules during the Easter weekend of April 3-5.

The day after Easter, called “Little Easter,” is a national holiday when many Italians travel or gather in parks and at beaches for picnics with friends and families. Travel between regions is already banned under previous restrictions.

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