ROME (AP) — Some 1,900 Italian doctors and dentists have been suspended from the country's professional association because they haven’t complied with a law requiring them to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including having a booster shot.
That amounts to 0.4% of total membership, but the federation says some 30,000 other members still haven’t completed their vaccinations. The federation noted that some of them might not be violating the law since they might have tested positive and can’t now receive the vaccine yet or might have health reasons they can’t be vaccinated. Still others are waiting until they are eligible to receive a booster dose at least four months after their last vaccine shot.
That's a rough number that doesn't photograph the real situation of non-compliant health workers," Filippo Anelli, federation president, said in a statement.
Italy requires all health care workers, teachers, police, armed forces members and those who provide services to nursing home residents to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. It also requires all people 50 or older to be fully vaccinated or recently recovered from the illness in order to access services such as public transport.
Health care workers must receive the booster in order to be fully compliant, according to a law decreed by the Italian government last month.
Suspending the unvaccinated from the doctor's professional federation “isn't meant to be punitive,” Anelli said. “The aim is, as the law says, to protect public health and maintain adequate conditions of safety in providing care.”
To honor the sacrifice that Italy's doctors have made in caring for COVID-19 patients, the federation lists the names of all of its members who have died from the virus, which so far includes 366 names.
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