[And here is the Italian government press release]
Niccolò Carratelli Paolo Russo for “la Stampa” newspaper. Translated by DeepL
The most orthodox no vax health workers risk being without pay for eight months. The mandatory vaccination anti-Covid, for them, is now the law. For all health professions, even pharmacists, parapharmacies, private practices. Those who refuse must be moved to a job that does not involve interpersonal contact or involve the risk of spreading the infection, even if it is an “inferior job” with a lower salary.
When the move is not possible, it triggers the suspension from service, during which “is not due pay, other compensation or emolument”. A stop that can last until the person concerned does not vaccinate or until the end of the national vaccination campaign, “however, no later than December 31, 2021.”
In Article 4 of the decree approved yesterday by the Council of Ministers, it is made clear that “the vaccination can be omitted or postponed only in the case of established danger to health, in relation to specific clinical conditions documented”.
Within five days of the entry into force of the decree (then from April 7) each professional association “must transmit the list of members to the Region or Autonomous Province in which it is based. The same deadline applies to communication by employers, who must indicate the names and home address of “health care workers who carry out their activities in public or private facilities in the territory”.
Within ten days from the date of receipt of the lists, Regions and Autonomous Provinces “verify the vaccination status of each of the subjects included in the lists”. If the computer systems do not show the vaccination or the presentation of the request, part of the report to the local health company, which starts the investigation. The irregular position is also communicated to the Region and the employer, who will then trigger the demotion or suspension.
It is easy to foresee that for a large part of doctors, nurses or no vax social-health workers, the move will be complicated. But if in hospitals those who are likely to stay at home are not many, very different scenario is expected in longterm care facilities, where the “expelled” could rise, because 20% of social workers there has not been vaccinated.
Those who do not vaccinate are punished, and the liability of healthcare workers who vaccinate are waved if “the use of the vaccine is in accordance with the indications contained in the marketing authorization and circulars published on the website of the Ministry of Health.” So, for doctors, nurses or pharmacists is “excluded punishability” for the crimes of manslaughter and negligent bodily injury, occurred after the injection. This does not mean, however, that they will not be entered in the register of suspects in a possible investigation, with the consequent need to find a lawyer.
That’s part of the reason doctors say they are disappointed with the liability waver. “I would rather call it a tiny one and certainly not a series A,” jokes Carlo Palermo, national secretary of Anaao, the largest union of hospital white coats. “Health care professionals are protected with respect to malpractice and negligence – he explains – that in the case of a simple vaccination events are more than rare. What doctors wanted and did not get is the waver with respect to legal proceedings resulting from the administration of anti-Covid therapies. “We had asked the government to take due account of the difficulties that health professionals have faced and are facing in fighting an unknown disease, for which the scientific evidence is constantly evolving,” laments the president of the Medical doctors national board, Filippo Anelli.
Today, in fact, we know more, but for months doctors have been using drugs such as chloroquine or anti-cytokinetic drugs that later proved to be ineffective, but not without side effects. And, then as now, we continue to use “off label” drugs, i.e. authorized for one pathology but used for another, as in the case of the antiviral Remdesivir, designed to fight Ebola and administered, even successfully, against Covid. The Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, extends a hand to doctors: “There is a commitment of the government to work, in the conversion of the decree, a legal protection for health personnel that goes beyond the simple rule on vaccinations.