Austria: Medical association calls for measles vaccination

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Given the increasing number of cases, the Austrian Medical Association is calling for measles vaccination.

“Vaccinations can prevent many serious illnesses and save a lot of suffering,” said Edgar Wutscher, Federal Chairman of the Curia of General Practitioners, in a press release calling for more attention to be paid to the Austrian vaccination plan. The chamber also wants health insurance coverage to cover PCR tests and titer determinations. Almost 270 cases of measles were recorded this year.

PCR tests as a health insurance benefit
The measles vaccination (MMR) is free with no age restrictions; the plan recommends two MMR vaccinations every nine months. The aim is “to eradicate measles altogether, which is possible with this vaccination – if the population also gets vaccinated,” said Rudolf Schmitzberger, Head of the Department for Vaccination Matters at the Medical Association. In particular, people born between the end of the 1960s and the mid-1970s would not have sufficient vaccination protection due to the vaccine used at that time. If measles is suspected, doctors’ surgeries should be contacted in advance by telephone or telemedicine to avoid infection, says Naghme Kamaleyan-Schmied, deputy chairwoman of the Federal Curia of Registered Doctors.

The Medical Association is also calling for PCR tests to be covered by health insurance. These could provide a diagnosis as quickly as possible and prevent infection. In many cases, the Austrian Health Insurance Fund (ÖGK) does not cover the costs, emphasized Dietmar Bayer, deputy chairman of the Federal Curia of Registered Doctors. Kamaleyan-Schmied also criticized health insurance for not covering titer tests, which provide clarity about vaccination status.

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