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The new Italian government says it aims to have 80% of the population vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of September.

Premier Mario Draghi's office on Saturday announced more goals of the national vaccination program, which only recently has started picking up its pace after delays in vaccine deliveries and other logistics slowdowns.

Just under 2 million people in Italy – or roughly 3% of the population – had been fully vaccinated as of Saturday.

On Monday, much of the country, including Rome's region, Lazio, will be put under tougher restrictions on citizens' movements outside the home. Hospitals are struggling with an increase of ICU admissions for COVID-19 patients. Daily new caseloads of confirmed infections have soared above 20,000 in recent days, including on Saturday, with the Health Ministry reporting 26,062 cases.

Italy has now tallied some 3.2 million cases in the pandemic. After Britain, Italy has Europe's second-highest known death toll, with 101,881 dead.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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