A virologist has recommended the government bring vaccinations “house to house” rather than rely on vaccination hubs to increase the number of vaccinated people in Italy.

Virologist Fabrizio Pregliasco, a professor at the State University of Milan, stated that there are at least five million Italians who are either against the vaccine or undecided about it who will not travel on their own to coronavirus vaccination sites.

He told the newspaper Il Giornale that he believed the government should switch strategies to get vaccines to more people, saying: “House to house. That is, with a more profiled and territorial vaccination campaign that must be widespread and reach everyone.

“Vaccination hubs have had their day. They gave a quick response to those who wanted to protect themselves from infection and presented themselves of their own free will. Now we need a change.”

“Before thinking about the vaccination obligation, the real challenge is to reach those who do not trust and to do so, you really need to use local medicine, from pharmacies to family doctors,” he added.

Pregliasco also stated that he was in favour of vaccinating children, saying: “We have become accustomed to believing that COVID does not affect children. In fact, one per cent of infected minors are seriously ill, and also COVID affects various organs. We’ve seen it hit the lungs, but it can also have consequences for the heart and brain. So — I repeat — yes, children must be vaccinated.”