The hub of the ‘no more invisible’: data and story of a fight for the right to health for everyone

25.000 anti-Covid19 vaccines administrated at the hub of the Community of Sant’Egidio. For everyone’s protection.

Since 12th June 2021, in a wing of the old hospital San Gallicano – that currently hosts several activities having social, medical and cultural character – a hub for the administration of the vaccine run by Sant’Egidio is open thanks to the voluntary and free of charge commitment of 140 doctors, nurses, paramedics, and others who take care of the logistics and the administration.
The hub has been set after the request of General Figliuolo, at time Special Commissioner for the Covid emergency. In cooperation with the ASL Roma 1 and the Regione Lazio, its task was the administration of the jabs to those segments of the population which are marginalized for different reasons and would have been excluded from the vaccination campaign.
In 10 months, the hub has administrated more than 25,000 vaccine doses and reached 16,200 people: homeless people, refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants undergoing regularization, Roma, but also Italians who live in condition of serious marginality, foreign students, or nuns and members of the clergy temporary present in Italy.
That is a thorough people. There are different ages (87 percent are between 18 and 59, that is to say in working age); different nationalities: 146 (the Peruvian are the largest group, and the Italians are the fourth largest one). Most of them would be cut off the vaccination campaign, not because of their own choices, but due to lack of information and guidance, while it is impossible for them to assert their right to health and treatments.
The numbers are quite clear: only one in five of those people enjoyed any form of health care. For the rest of them, more than 81 percent (13,082 people), the access to the hub meant the possibility to emerge from a real ‘health-care invisibility’.      
That was a disastrous situation for the people who were deprived of the right to health, but also a failing in the national vaccination campaign, that the hub contributed to fix. Through a special desk connecting to the Regione Lazio, the Sant’Egidio’s hub workers, while they administrated the doses of the vaccine, could regularize the health-care status of thousands of people, that now can have access to the national health service, thanks to the service for temporary resident foreigners (STP) and European citizens (ENI). This way the hub helps to guarantee a right that the Italian Constitution rules and was denied until now: the Article 32 states that the Republic protects health as a fundamental right of the individual and collective interest and guarantees free care to the indigent.
At the same time the service the hub provided to single persons is a service to the collective health and protection too: many of those who had the jab are social and health workers or carers; their immunization reduces the risk of contagion for the vulnerable people they look after.
A health service for everyone – that is the firm belief of the voluntary workers who take part in this activity – is not a heavy charge, as someone often says, but a protection which includes who is marginalized, reaches different age brackets, and contribute to the common wellbeing.