New vaccination schedule in Austria

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Following the vaccination panel’s recommendation on AstraZeneca, the Ministry of Health has now announced the new vaccination schedule

The National Immunization Panel has recommended AstraZeneca for 18- to 64-year-olds for now, pending the publication of additional studies. Those should be available in February.
Austria’s vaccination schedule has been adjusted: All under-65s who are not high-risk patients should be vaccinated with AstraZeneca. Older and high-risk patients are to be vaccinated preferentially with mRNA vaccines such as BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna. Ultimately, however, AstraZeneca could also administer to seniors during vaccine shortages, the panel said.


▶ Phase 1

Residents of nursing homes/homes for the aged, staffs, people with regular jobs and regular stays in the homes; people over 80 years of age; staff in health care settings. Furthermore, persons, regardless of age, with pre-existing conditions and particularly high risk, who can be reached institutionally, such as through day clinics or dialysis wards.In addition, health care personnel as well as employees in mobile care, support and nursing, disabled persons with personal assistance as well as their assistants. In this phase, mainly BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna are used.


▶ Phase 2

Probably in March – in office-based settings and local immunization sites: Here, 65- to 79-year-olds – graded according to age and health risks – get their turn, people under 65 with pre-existing conditions at high risk, and – if enough vaccine is available – under-65s at increased risk. Furthermore, people in 24-hour care and their caregivers, contact persons of pregnant women, other health care personnel, personnel in schools, kindergartens, crèches and care facilities, as well as selected employees with direct human contact and increased risk of infection in the police, penal system and federal army.


▶ Phase 3

This phase is scheduled to start in the middle of the second quarter and will – hopefully – be characterized by sufficient vaccine: the general population will then have its turn.
The pace of vaccination is “dependent on the timing of market approvals and delivery dates and quantities,” emphasizes Health Minister Rudolf Anschober. And Chancellor Sebastian Kurz: “With vaccination, we can return to our usual lives step by step.”

  • sources: gesundheitsministerium.at and krone.at/picture: pixabay.com
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