ROME: Italy's coronavirus vaccine rollout hit a major milestone on Saturday, as it fully vaccinated five million Italian residents,as per the country's health ministry reports.
Italy is the third European Union (EU) member state to reach that milestone, following Germany and France.
A total of 17.3 million people in Italy have received at least the first dose of a vaccine, making around 28.5 per cent of the country's population partially vaccinated.
The vaccine rollout which began on December 27, 2020, was passed for sometime amid reports of the AstraZeneca vaccine causing blood clots in some patients.
The distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was also halted before it was set to start due to similar safety worries.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires just one dose for full effect. All the other vaccines approved for distribution in Italy -- the AstraZeneca, BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna -- require two doses.
Meanwhile, as per the reports released by world health organizations on Friday, 275 candidate vaccines are being developed -- 91 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States.