Health professionals in Italy found the penalty for violating the vaccination obligation low: ‘The cost of our lives is 100 euros!’

Health professionals in Italy found the penalty for violating the

In Italy, the government’s obligation to vaccinate people over the age of 50 and the amount of punishment to be given to those who violate this obligation led to reactions and discussions.

According to the decision taken by the Council of Ministers during the week, those aged 50 and over who have not been vaccinated as of February 1 will be fined 100 euros for once.

This amount of fines received criticism from a wide range of people, especially healthcare professionals, on the grounds that it was far from being a deterrent.

In Italy, which is the first country to experience the coronavirus epidemic among Western countries, a nurse, known for her posts in the first weeks, rebelled against this decision of the government.

Martina Benedetti, who works as an intensive care nurse in the Tuscany region, reproached in her message shared on social media, “100 euros, this is the price of our health. This is the price of our lives. This is the price of the sacrifices we have made for 2 years, especially us healthcare workers.”

Benedetti accused the government of refraining from making strong and bold decisions, putting the burden on frontline health workers.

Nurse Benedetti was featured in the Italian and world press with her posts in March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic.

In one of these messages, Benedetti shared a photo of his red face with a mask scar, describing what he had been through in the hospital, and reacted by saying, “For whom am I risking my life” when people do not take the epidemic seriously.

Similar to Nurse Benedetti’s response came from other healthcare professionals.

Roberto Burioni, professor of microbiology and virology at Milan Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, who became one of the most recognizable health experts in the country during the pandemic, criticized the 100 euro fine on the grounds that it was too low.

Burioni emphasized that the penalty for violating the vaccination obligation is equivalent to approximately 2 parking ban violations, and said, “This makes the vaccination mandatory itself a ridiculous nonsense.”

‘Seat belt penalty 323 euros’

Nino Cartabellotta, President of the health research institute GIMBE, which analyzed pandemic data, reacted with a similar example. Cartabellotta reminded that those who violate the seat belt requirement are fined up to 323 euros and said that the government finds the vaccination requirement insufficient.

The Italian press also reminded that Austria, one of the countries that made a similar vaccination obligation, imposes a fine of up to 3,600 euros for those who violate the rule.

Fines up to 1,500 euros in workplaces

Upon the reactions, the government made a new statement last night, reminding that the sanctions imposed on those who violate the Covid measures are not limited to the 100 euro vaccination penalty.

Fines reach up to 1,500 euros in areas where the Covid certificate obligation is still enforced in the country.

The Covid certificate requirement continues to be applied in all workplaces. Those who do not have a Covid document can be suspended from work, and those who are determined to go to work without a document can be fined between 600-1500 euros.

Those who violate the Covid document requirement in places such as restaurants, cinemas, and public transport are also penalized between 400-1000 euros.

Opposition: Violation of personal data privacy

On the other hand, a different reaction to the government’s decision to make the Covid vaccine mandatory over the age of 50 came from the opposition.

The far-right Brothers of Italy, the only major party not participating in the broad coalition government led by Mario Draghi, stated that this practice violated the privacy of citizens’ sensitive personal data.

The leader of the Brotherhood of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, emphasized that the Revenue Administration would have to step in to punish those violating the vaccination requirement, and described this as “a Chinese model of citizen control”.

It is calculated that 2.1 million of the population over the age of 50 of approximately 28 million in Italy have not had the Covid vaccine.

About 90 percent of those over the age of 12 have had at least one dose of the vaccine.

Vaccination of children aged 5-11 in the country also started last month.

In Italy, more than 108 thousand new cases and 223 deaths were recorded in the last day.

Since the beginning of the epidemic, the total number of cases has exceeded 7 million, and the total loss of life has exceeded 138 thousand.