Summer is approaching, and many are looking forward to a carefree vacation. But for some, a trip could be associated with unwanted complications. Because: Thousands of Austrians will lose their Green Passport despite triple vaccination in the coming weeks and months, “Heute” reported.
Expiration after 270 days
The certificate is valid for 270 days after the third vaccination. There is only one option for traveling abroad after expiration – at least for now: a PCR test that is not older than 48 hours.
Health Minister Johannes Rauch announced a new approach to the green passport in an interview with ORF Report on Tuesday evening. The minister said that the solution to the problem would already be fixed at the beginning of next week. It was indicated that there would be an extension of the validity of the Green Passport.
What exactly the new regulation looks like, he left open. However, he promised that everyone would be able to travel without any problems. “Of course, we will find regulations there so that someone who wants to go on vacation is not suddenly faced with looking at his cell phone and the passport is red,” Rauch explained in a talk with host Susanne Schnabl.
Rauch expects a vaccination boom
And he expects Austria to experience a surprising vaccination boom. The vaccination obligation commission will present its report; then, it will depend on which Corona variant comes in the autumn. And when is the best time to start complete vaccination? Experts would insist that there needs to be “proximity in time to the next wave,” Rauch said, which “I think will be in August, September.”
Data on fourth vaccination inaccurate
As for the fourth vaccination, the data is currently still imprecise. As shown in a recent study from Israel, the second booster from BioNTech and Pfizer noticeably lowers the risk of developing Covid-19 in older people 60 and older. But the protection against infection appears to be short-lived. Corona’s immunity from the second booster vaccination waned after just four weeks. The study of the Israeli researchers was published in the renowned “New England Journal of Medicine.”
The vaccinated persons were protected against severe disease for at least six weeks. Follow-up studies are needed to evaluate the long-term effect. EU health ministers had asked the European Commission to consider a recommendation for a fourth vaccination for all people over 60.
No recommendation in Austria
There is currently no recommendation for the fourth vaccination in Austria, as Daniel Böhm, spokesman for Health Minister Johannes Rauch, confirmed. According to vaccination expert Ursula Wiedermann-Schmidt of MedUni Vienna, a fourth sting is unnecessary for the general population. “But for people over the age of 65 and for immunocompromised people, it probably makes sense,” the medical expert told “Wien Heute” a few days ago.
In addition, the vaccinologist reckons that infection with the coronavirus would make a fourth vaccination superfluous at the moment. “I don’t think there is a need for an Omikron-specific vaccine. Rather, what has been seen is that if basic immunization has occurred with the three vaccinations and you were infected with delta or omicron, you have then developed such a broad immune response that it is then sufficient for a longer period,” Wiedermann-Schmidt emphasized.
- source: heute.at/picture: gesundheitsministerium.at
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