Health Minister Johannes Rauch states that medication and vaccination should be available free of charge. Tests are also to remain free for symptomatic people. In a background interview Tuesday, Rauch and senior Health Ministry officials said patients with symptoms would go to the doctor as usual, get tested, and get appropriate medication in case of Corona infection. How the vaccination campaigns will be rolled out is unclear because everyone has different immune situations (a mix of vaccinations and infections). Therefore, corona vaccinations cannot simply be appended to seasonal flu vaccinations. Also, international experts are first consulting on vaccination recommendations.
Lessons from the pandemic
Minister Rauch said that the Epidemic Law of 1913 proved unsuitable, so Turquoise Green introduced the Covid-19 Measures Law as a stopgap measure. By definition, this Covid law expires with the Covid pandemic. The Ministry of Health is currently drafting a new epidemic law, which is scheduled to go into review at the end of 2023. If a new Covid variant were to break out in the intervening months, Parliament would need to quickly reauthorize the Covid 19 Measures Act to allow the Minister of Health to take action.
Another lesson learned from past years is that a pandemic manual is being prepared. This should be ready as early as the fall. The most important lesson, according to Rauch, is that only clear communication will bring acceptance among the population. The debate on compulsory vaccination went wrong in this respect. The federal-state consensus was not optimal in terms of communication or implementation. The Court of Audit found that the Ministry of Health had to perform its central steering function in times of crisis.
As to whether it was a mistake to close schools, for example, Rauch says, “I don’t want to pass the baton on others,” and, “Of course, mistakes were also made in terms of communication. I do not exclude myself from that.”
Regarding compulsory vaccination, Edtstadler says: “It was decided when a collapse of the health care system was threatening. In retrospect, we can now say: we didn’t need it. It was right to make those decisions.” At the same time, he says, it does not absolve the government from taking a critical look at the past.
The health minister also maintains that “the Covid vaccination was a scientific revolution.” The vaccination protects against severe courses but unfortunately, does not prevent infection, which was the hope initially.
- source: kurier.at/picture: pixabay.com
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