As more and more Italians say they will not take a coronavirus vaccine when it’s available next year, the government has said it will introduce a public information campaign to persuade people to take it.

A task force has been appointed to plan the nationwide roll-out of the vaccine itself, once approved.

Although the shots will be free, they will be voluntary and the latest figures suggest that 40 percent of Italians won’t accept the jabs, mainly over safety fears. However, if the vaccine was produced in Italy, rather than in the US or another European country, there would be less resistance.

An incentive to take the jabs will be a planned ‘coronavirus passport,’ which would exempt the holder from travel restrictions.

Italy was the first European country to be badly affected by the virus and the latest death figures exceed those of France and Spain.

FILE PHOTO: A suspected coronavirus patient is taken to hospital in Italy Reuters