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Italy plans to have 80% of population vaccinated by end of September

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By Euronews with AP
People stroll in the Navigli popular area Milan, Italy, Saturday, March 13, 2021.
People stroll in the Navigli popular area Milan, Italy, Saturday, March 13, 2021.   -   Copyright  Claudio Furlan/LaPresse via AP
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Italy aims to vaccinate at least 80% of its population against COVID-19 by the end of September, according to the new government.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s office on Saturday set out their national vaccination programme goals.

It comes amid criticism of the EU's sluggish COVID-19 vaccination rollout amid public rows with vaccine companies, slow deliveries of doses and other logistical problems.

In Italy, just under two million people, roughly 3% of the population, had been fully vaccinated against the virus.

Italy also faces rising coronavirus cases and from Monday, several of the country's regions will be classified as "red zones". This means that shops will close and schools will move to distanced learning.

Infections have soared in recent days with the health ministry reporting more than 26,000 new daily cases on Saturday.

Hospitals in the country are struggling with an increase of intensive care admissions for COVID-19 patients.

Italy has now tallied some 3.2 million cases in the pandemic. After the UK, Italy has Europe’s second-highest known death toll, with 101,881 dead.