In Austria, nearly 96,000 people have received a Corona booster vaccination (4th sting). This is according to figures published online Wednesday by the Ministry of Health. The National Immunization Panel recommends the fourth vaccination for everyone 80 and older, with a reduction to 65 under discussion. Younger people can get the booster voluntarily – and no earlier than four months after the third sting.
96,000 received 4th sting – 732 Austrians already vaccinated five times
According to the new data, 95,199 people received the fourth prick, and another 732 received the fifth or more vaccine doses. More than half of the booster vaccinations have been received by older people aged 75 and older (50,218), and one-third of the “boosters” live in Vienna (30,447).
The number of fully vaccinated
However, the Ministry of Health has changed the rules by which the number of fully vaccinated people in Austria is recorded. Previously, the vaccination certificates were used as a yardstick. In other words, the statistics considered anyone with a valid vaccination certificate was fully vaccinated. In the future, the Ministry will be guided by the recommendations of the National Immunization Panel (NIG) – regardless of whether the vaccination certificate in question has already expired or not.
In practice, this means that people under 80 continue to show up in the statistics as vaccinated even if their vaccination certificate expires. This is because the vaccination panel has not yet recommended a booster vaccination (“4th prick”) for this age group.
Corona vaccination counts despite expired vaccination certificate
The difference is already noticeable in the numbers: In the new evaluation, 80,735 people are still vaccinated for whom the vaccination certificate has already expired. Accordingly, the vaccination coverage rate of the population according to the new calculation method is slightly higher than the old calculation. Currently, 62.5 percent of people in Austria are considered vaccinated according to the recommendation, but only 61.6 percent have a vaccination certificate that is still valid.
No recommendation yet on 4th vaccination for younger people
If the vaccination panel were to make a recommendation for booster vaccination of the younger age groups as well, the vaccination coverage rate of the population would decrease accordingly. The Ministry of Health also points to this in a statement on Wednesday: “The NIG recommendation is a living document, which is always adapted to the latest epidemiological developments. The change in the methodology for calculating the vaccination coverage rate thus ensures that the communicated vaccination coverage rates are also continuously adapted to the latest epidemiological developments,” it says.
For the time being, the new vaccination figures have only been published as open data sets – the presentation on the ministry’s vaccination dashboard has not yet been adjusted.
- sources: APA/vienna.at/picture: pixabay.com
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