Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens) has clearly rejected the use of the world’s first approved corona vaccine presented by Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week. “For the EU and thus for Austria an insufficiently tested vaccine is out of the question”, the Minister said in a statement on Wednesday.
There are clear rules for testing vaccines – and these must also be adhered to “100 per cent” in the case of a vaccine against the coronavirus, the Ministry of Health reacted to the current debate on the approval of the Russian vaccine, which Putin celebrated. Although applications for marketing authorisation could currently be processed more quickly with the European Medicines Agency (EMA), this does not mean that less data on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine would have to be submitted.
Six vaccines in important trial phase
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 28 vaccine candidates are currently in clinical development, six of which are in the “clinically significant Phase 3” of testing, as the mailing states. Anschober is therefore confident that one or more “extensively tested, safe, effective and approved vaccines” will be available next year.
“Protection for those who wish to be vaccinated”
Anschober was pleased about the joint EU approach to vaccine procurement. Within the Union, the reserved supply quantities will then be split up according to population share. “Austria’s goal is to make vaccination possible for everyone who wants to be vaccinated. I very much hope that we will achieve this goal as soon as possible”, said the Health Minister. He said that a strategy was currently being worked on in order to “prepare well the procedure, priority and logistics for this key phase in the fight against Covid-19”.
However, there will be no compulsory corona vaccination, Anschober had already spoken out against this at the end of May. “My expectation and hope is that the crisis is so manifest that this can be achieved on a voluntary basis,” he said at the time. SPÖ leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner and FPÖ leader Norbert Hofer rejected the compulsory vaccination on Wednesday. In the federal states, however, opinions on a possible compulsory vaccination are divided.
First countries show interest, but scepticism prevails
According to Russia, more than 20 countries have already announced interest in the first approved corona vaccine. However, worldwide scepticism prevails: the announcement was made before the completion of the third test phase. This means that neither the efficacy nor the side effects of the vaccine can currently be assessed on a sound basis. The WHO also reacted cautiously.
- Hector Pascua, Source: News Agencies
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