Italian authorities started vaccinations for Covid-19 virus in early 2021. However, since the vaccination plan is implemented by regional governments, booking procedure and waiting time vary across regions.
Please keep in mind that the Covid-19 vaccine is free of charge, voluntary (except for health professionals and people over 50) and available for people older than 12 or 18, depending on the vaccine.
Why should I get a Covid-19 vaccine?
The vaccine prevents you from developing serious symptoms, so your risk of hospitalization and death because of Covid-19 are reduced. Therefore, vaccination against Covid-19 is fundamental to protect yourself and people around you. On the one hand, once more of the population is vaccinated the risk of transmission decreases; on the other, vaccination helps reduce the pressure on hospitals, so that patients with other illnesses can be better monitored and treated.
Is it safe to get a Covid-19 vaccine?
The COVID-19 vaccines have gone through studies to ensure they are as safe as possible. All vaccines available in Italy have been approved by the EMA (European Medicine Agency) and AIFA (Italian Drug Agency) on the basis of quality, safety and efficiency tests.
What is in Covid-19 vaccines?
The shots are made of: an active ingredient that teaches the body how to fight the virus (such as mRNA or an harmless adenovirus, encoding the instructions to build the spike protein), salts, lipids, sugars, acids, water.. And that’s it!
Are there some side effects after getting vaccinated?
Like any vaccine, you may experience some mild side effects after getting vaccinated (for example: arm soreness, fever, headache, fatigue). These side effects are normal and are signs that your body is building protection against the virus. More serious or long-lasting side effects are possible but extremely rare. Vaccines are continually monitored to detect adverse events.
Learn more on side effects of Covid-19 vaccines here.
I have heard that some vaccines can create blood clots, is that true?
Rare blood clots have been reported in some individuals receiving the AstraZeneca and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This side effect is rare, as it is estimated to occur in 1 in every 250,000 individuals vaccinated. It is important to consider this risk compared to other risks. Contracting Covid-19 is associated with a greater risk of developing clots, approximately a fifth of all hospitalized patients with Covid-19 have evidence of blood clots. As such, for the vast majority of people, the benefits of the Covid-19 vaccine far outweigh the potential risk.
What are the fake news around Covid-19 vaccines?
There are many myths around vaccines. We suggest that you always get the information from official sources such as the Health Ministry, Regional Health Systems or World Health Organization. Here’s some of the main ‘bufale’ (hoaxes in English):
- RNA vaccines will alter my genetic code
- Through the vaccine they will put microchips inside my body
- Covid-19 vaccines were developed using fetal tissue
- Vaccines predispose to autoimmune diseases
- I can get Covid-19 from the vaccine
- I won’t need to use face mask after I get vaccinated
If I have already had Covid-19, do I still need to get vaccinated?
Yes, even if you already had the virus, you still need to get vaccinated. Indeed, it is still unsure how long someone is protected from getting the virus again after recovering from Covid-19. You should get one shot of the vaccination between 3 and 6 months from your recovery. This does not hold true for people with immunodeficiency.
Can I choose which vaccine to be vaccinated with?
So far, the vaccines available in Italy are Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson&Johnson.
You cannot decide which vaccine to get, since it is the government that decides which vaccine to administer to a specific category of people, based on the pre-existing personal situation. This is because people have different vulnerabilities and risks to get the virus and the number of available doses is still limited.
I have no documents, am I entitled to get vaccinated?
As stated in Art. 35 of the legislation that disciplines Italian immigration law, vaccination is granted also to undocumented migrants.
Nevertheless, so far few Italian regional authorities have explicitly included undocumented migrants in the vaccination strategy. Please, read below to know which regions are vaccinating people who are not registered with the National Healthcare System.
When will it be my turn for the vaccine?
Vaccination campaign foresees different phases. Italy has started to vaccinate the most vulnerable people (for example: aged people, people with severe diseases) and specific professional categories (for example: doctors, teachers, caregivers). Eventually the rest of the population will also be able to get vaccinated, according to the age.
The vaccination plan is implemented by regional governments. This means that waiting time may vary across regions. Please, stay tuned on your regional health service’s website to find out when it’s the turn of your category.
How can I book the appointment for Covid-19 vaccination?
Vaccination is by registration only, and it is only open to certain categories at a time.
Both registration services and timetable vary by region. In most regional health services you can book the appointment online or by phone. Depending on your region, you may also be able to book the appointment via your family doctor or in a pharmacy.
You can find the regional online booking portals and numbers by searching on Google: vaccino covid + [name of your region]. You can also send us a private message on Facebook, and we will help you find the link.
Most of the regions will request your fiscal code or tessera sanitaria number to book the appointment.
You will be asked to choose where to go for your vaccine when you book your appointment.
How can I book the appointment if I don't have the tessera sanitaria or a permanent fiscal code?
If you are not registered with the Italian Healthcare System, if you have the STP code, or if you have a temporary fiscal code (11 numbers only), it could be more difficult to book the appointment.
Some regions have adapted the online booking system to accept STP codes or temporary fiscal codes. If you do not have the STP code yet, you can request it at the ASL. These regions are the following:
- Campania: please, access the vaccine portal here. You will be able to enter your STP code.
- Emilia Romagna: please, access the vaccine portal here and click on 'accedi inserendo i tuoi dati'. You will be able to enter your STP code or your temporary fiscal code.
- Lazio: in Rome, some organizations, in coordination with the ASL, are running initiatives to vaccinate people in condition of vulnerability. You can go to the Hub Sant'Egidio or to Binario 95. Moreover, some hospitals are planning open days with no need of tessera sanitaria (e.g Ospedale San Camillo, Ospedale Santo Spirito).
- Liguria: You have to send an email with your personal data or call the number of your ASL. Please, find the contacts here by clicking on your ASL at the bottom of the webpage.
- Lombardia: please, access the vaccine portal here and click on 'Sei uno straniero in possesso del codice STP, di un Codice Fiscale italiano o di un Codice Univoco ad 11 cifre emesso dalla Prefettura, effettua una richiesta di abilitazione alla prenotazione al seguente link'. You will be able to enter your STP code or your temporary fiscal code. You will receive an authentication code on your phone to be enter in the webpage. After 48 hours (excluding Saturday and Sunday), you have to access the vaccine portal again to book your shot. This time, click on 'Se sei un cittadino italiano iscritto all'AIRE, un cittadino straniero, se fai parte del personale navigante (...) puoi gestire l'appuntamento al seguente link'. If you have the STP code, select 'possessore codice STP' under 'seleziona tipologia' and enter you STP code. If you have a temporary fiscal code, select 'cittadino straniero con codice fiscale/codice univoco' and enter your fiscal code. Once you enter you code click on 'accedi' and you will be able to select the date of your appointment. To confirm the appointment, you'll have to enter the authentication code received during the first registration.
- Puglia: please, access the vaccine portal here and click on 'manifestazione di interesse'. You will be able to enter your STP code.
- Sicilia: some organizations such as Caritas, in collaboration with local health systems, are organizing vaccination days for people without tessera sanitaria. In Palermo, you can also book the appointment at the Hub Fiera del Mediterraneo here, by selecting your category and following the instructions for 'non hai un codice fiscale italiano? Clicca qui'.
Please, stay tuned for more updates ;)
What documents do I need to bring at the vaccination appointment?
If someone you know asks questions or expresses concern about vaccines, listen to them, acknowledge their feelings and offer correct information if you can! Learn more here
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