The (digital) vaccination certificate – is Italy getting back to the (new) normal?

How is the vaccination sequence regulated in Italy?

In Italy, the functionality of the structures is prioritised. Accordingly, vaccination of staff employed in public and private hospitals is the first priority. This is followed by vaccination of persons employed in retirement homes and accommodated as guests. Only then is the "normal" population vaccinated in descending order in terms of age. At the same time, the teaching staff at schools and universities are vaccinated with the vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca, which has only been approved for persons up to 65 years of age.

Availability is still affected by supply bottlenecks; however, there are plans to vaccinate the entire population by summer, i.e. vaccination should speed up significantly beginning in April. As of 8 March, a total of 5,417,678 doses were administered, with complete vaccination of 1,652,031 persons.

Should there be special rights for "vaccinated persons" in Italy?

In Italy, the topic is discussed on the basis of a trade-off between individual freedom and prohibition of discrimination, with special emphasis also on the consideration that the fact of vaccination in the current status of the vaccination campaign is not necessarily in the hands of the individual. In this context, on the other hand, it is also stated that there is no general obligation to vaccinate, but preferential treatment for vaccinated persons would de facto be seen as the introduction of a vaccination obligation. In the opinion of the Italian data protection authority, any type of use of personal vaccination data also requires a clear (national) data protection regulation and specific permission. Specific measures have not yet been implemented.

Is the (digital) vaccination certificate coming to Italy?

The prevailing sentiment of the population and politics in Italy is likely to return to normalcy soon, even if temporarily only for the already vaccinated portion of the population. Against this background and in the absence of a uniform national or EU-wide regulation, there is an increase in initiatives by the individual regional governments to introduce regionally limited vaccination certificates. In view of this, however, reference is often made to the need for at least uniform national and preferably EU-wide regulations. Overall, the discussion is still underway, and there is still no concrete legislative act in this regard.

To date, the vaccination certification has been discussed primarily in light of the cancellation of travel restrictions. With regard to access to private services, it is rather implicitly accepted as a given fact that selections will be made, which is hardly discussed from a legal point of view.

Autor: Florian Bünger