Vienna – Austria’s vaccination strategy to protect against Covid-19 disease is ready and is to be approved today in the Council of Ministers. Health Minister Rudolf Anschober and his Special Commissioner for Health, Clemens-Martin Auer, presented initial details to the public yesterday:
1️⃣ Who should and can be vaccinated and when?
The sequence of vaccinations will depend on the time of approval and subsequently on the quantity that can be produced and supplied by the manufacturers. It is expected that BioNTech/Pfizer will be the first to approve the vaccine in December. In January and early February, the Special Representative for Health, Clemens-Martin Auer, expects one million doses for 500,000 people in Austria. These would then be used first in January in the old people’s and nursing homes by residents and staff, for which approximately 150,000 units are needed. This would be followed by health personnel in hospitals and private practices, paramedics, high-risk groups and the over-65s in general.
Meanwhile, due to further vaccine approvals, another two million doses of vaccine are expected to arrive in Austria in February/March, initially reserved for teachers, kindergarten teachers, the executive and judiciary. From April, Auer expects that sufficient vaccine will then be available for everyone. “We assume that in the third quarter we have vaccinated everyone who wanted to be vaccinated.
2️⃣ Will there be a compulsory vaccination?
No, nobody will be obligated to be vaccinated, promises the Federal Government. Nevertheless, the more people are vaccinated, the lower the risk that someone will fall seriously ill with Covid-19. It should also be considered that there may be countries that require vaccination for entry, and some airlines have already announced that they will only allow vaccinated passengers on board. However, the AUA parent Lufthansa says it is not one of them.
3️⃣ How does the vaccination work and how long will it last?
All three vaccines that are expected to be approved in the near future will require two partial vaccinations. The second injection is given at intervals of three to four weeks after the first. Unlike the influenza vaccine, which has to be adapted each year to the presumably predominant strain, the Covid vaccines will probably not have to be modified. And more recent studies from the USA raise hopes that a successful vaccination could be effective for years.
4️⃣ Which vaccines are available?
The European Union has secured quotas of seven vaccine candidates. Since yesterday, these include the corona vaccine from the US manufacturer Moderna, which is considered very promising. The EU Commission has negotiated a framework agreement for up to 160 million doses, which will be formally sealed today. This means that the EU now has contracts with the manufacturers of all three vaccines, who are given the best chances of rapid approval in the coming weeks. The third is that of AstraZeneca, which is based on a conventional technology and is likely to be used in the office-based sector, as it does not require deep-freezing and therefore no vaccination centers. Austria is entitled to two percent of all vaccines and receives them at the same time as all other EU countries.
- hp with reports from APA. picture: pixabay.com
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