Vaccination target of 17 percent at end of March still a long way off

Two months after the vaccination launch, just under 660,000 vaccinations have been administered in Austria. However, it is still a long way from the target of 17 percent by the end of March.

Two months after the vaccination launch in December, less than one-third of people over 85 in Austria have received their first Corona vaccination. This is shown by data from the Ministry of Health updated on Monday. Even from the February declared goal of a vaccination coverage rate of 17 percent by the end of March, the government and provinces are still far away with 5.5 percent. In total, 148,604 vaccinations were given in the previous week, a quarter more than the week before.

The reluctance to be vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s active ingredient reported in some European countries cannot be seen in the Austrian figures. According to the Ministry of Health, 156,000 doses have been delivered so far, and up to and including Sunday, almost 93,000 of them had been vaccinated. In total, however, the vaccine from Biontech/Pfizer, which has been available for much longer (with 596,000 doses delivered and 544,000 doses vaccinated), is still in the lead. The vaccine from Moderna (73,200 doses delivered, 20,343 vaccinated) is used least frequently.

So far, 656,670 Corona vaccinations have been given, including 148,604 in the previous week – up 26 percent from the week before. Nearly one-third of the vaccinations have gone to people 75 and older. In the current vaccination schedule, those 80 and older are considered one of the main target groups, along with health care workers, caregivers and the disabled. The older population also has the highest vaccination coverage: Among those aged 75 to 84, nearly 11 percent have received at least the first injection, compared with 30 percent of those 85 and older (up eight percentage points from the week before).

Vaccination target from early February is probably too high
However, Austria is far from the goal announced in early February of immunizing 17 percent of the “vaccine-eligible population” aged 16 and older against Covid-19 by the end of March. This would have required up to 2.6 million vaccinations (first and second doses). This figure has since disappeared from the Ministry of Health’s current vaccination schedule. The ministry has also reduced the AstraZeneca delivery expected for the second quarter from 3.5 to 1.2 million doses in the current vaccination plan, dated February 24.

A spokesman for Health Minister Rudolf Anschober explained the deletion of the vaccination target in response to an APA query, saying that the vaccination plan had been revised and adjusted based on the actual doses available: “The current target for vaccinations is two million vaccinated doses by Easter.”

Currently, according to the figures, 5.5 percent of residents 16 years and older have been vaccinated at least once, or 4.8 percent of the total population. As of Sunday evening, 2.6 percent have received both partial vaccinations needed for full protection.

  • source: APA, picture: pixabay.com

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