“Vaccinate cancer patients in therapy, now! They are extremely fragile people, particularly at risk in case of contagion from Covid-19. There is really no time to waste, even more so in this moment of the epidemic in Italy, with the circulation of variants and the triggering of the third wave. They must be vaccinated immediately “, he says Elisabetta Iannelli, general secretary of Favo, the federation of voluntary associations in oncology, indicating the way to go “without further, incomprehensible delay. After the recommendation of the Ministry of Health, the Regions must issue the resolutions and the treatment centers take action. the Lazio model, which initiated the vaccinations “.
In Lazio, he explains to time.news Salute, “the determination was issued and the vaccinations started at the Ifo in Rome, which organized themselves by sending the list of patients to be vaccinated to the Region”. The patient receives an SMS from the Lazio Cup certifying the reservation and then the call from the Regina Elena Institute with the necessary details and information. “This model seems to work – he underlines – and now the other Centers that treat cancer patients must take action, following the regional indications”.
In recent days, on social media, the anger and disappointment of patients who tried to book on the Salute Lazio website has exploded, discovering that the pathology code 048 is not among those allowed. But for oncologists who are entitled to priority vaccination, this is not the way to go to option doses.
“The online booking by entering the pathology exemption code 048, in this case, is not feasible – clarifies Iannelli – because the code alone is not indicative of frailty: a person healed of testicular cancer for years and in follow-up is not extremely vulnerable as a patient undergoing anti-cancer therapies that affect the immune system “. But even these extremely fragile patients are waiting for the vaccine and report the lack of information, in a rebound between the Region and treatment centers. “Hospitals must identify their patients to be vaccinated, send the list to the Region, as the Ifo did, and leave” with the immunizations.
If Lazio led the way, despite these holes to be filled in the chaos of the vaccination campaign, in the rest of Italy the situation is patchy. Some regions are organizing, but many others are still at stake. “There Tuscany – Iannelli points out – he is on the right track, he has issued the resolution and is about to leave: we need to monitor what will actually happen. There Basilicata and the Puglia I am behind, despite the commitments made in words. Emilia Romagna hasn’t started yet. But cancer patients in particularly fragile conditions can no longer wait. “And certainly, they cannot see magistrates, notaries or other categories pass in front of them, as has happened in some regions.
“The vaccination campaign rightly gave priority to doctors and health workers, then to the ‘over 80’, but now patients undergoing cancer therapy must be vaccinated – he remarks – Regions that have not yet done so, must issue the necessary measures; where the determinations have been published, an action of prodding and close monitoring on the individual treatment centers is necessary “. Favo is involved on this front, through associations in the various local realities.