In Italy, 37 packaging machinery manufacturers have responded to an appeal from Confindustria, the General Confederation of Italian Industry, asking them to volunteer their sites as COVID-19 vaccination locations on behalf of the national vaccination programme. The appeal was part of the initiative launched by the confederation calling for companies to participate in creating a map of “community factory” sites throughout Italy - companies willing to make their sites available for use as vaccination centres. The confederation initially contacted a number of large trade organisations in the country, including the Italian packaging machinery manufacturers' association Ucima, to ask them to enlist the help of their members.
The response has been overwhelming, with over 10,000 plants from different industrial sectors indicating they would participate.
This approach will allow millions of people working at the companies and belonging to the local communities to be vaccinated simultaneously. In Italy, the large trade associations tend to be highly structured organisations with suitable infrastructure for an operation of this scale.
While the Italian packaging machinery manufacturers have kept going throughout the pandemic, mainly due to a wide-scale implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies that have enabled remote control of installations, testing and assistance, the past year has left an impact.
Hopefully, setting up a faster and more structured vaccination programme will enable Italian companies to return to a more normal situation once again, both at home and in the international market, said Ucima.