Patient advocate Pilz: politics must “step up a gear”
“If vaccination shows a way out – science has to answer that – then politicians have to step up a gear,” demanded the Viennese patient advocate Sigrid Pilz. Appeals and referrals to the family doctor were not enough: “Go to social media, go into all groups, otherwise it won’t work,” she warned. Only statements will not get you very far, people should have the feeling that their questions are being answered.
Regarding the question of whether an indirect compulsory vaccination could arise in certain areas, Griss said it was conceivable that companies such as an airline could take the position: “You only get my benefits if you are vaccinated”, provided that this does not result in compulsion because the customer could switch to another provider. Bogner referred to the existing possibility of workplace-related vaccination concepts. The Styrian KAGes, for example, has required its staff in the patient area to be immune to measles, mumps, rubella and varicella since 2016.
“We currently do not know that older, vulnerable people were represented in sufficient numbers in studies,” warned Ludwig. Not least because of this, the ongoing studies by the vaccine manufacturers would be followed up over the long term at the request of the regulatory authorities. He is optimistic that the vaccines will mean a solution to the pandemic in the medium term. However, many aspects such as long-term safety or side effects have not yet been clarified.
During the development of the vaccines, time was not saved at the expense of effectiveness or safety, emphasized Wiedermann-Schmidt, but because, on the one hand, existing technologies were built on and, on the other hand, the approval processes were better structured. It expects that several products with different suitability for different population groups will be available. Like Ludwig, she stated: life will not be the same again in January or February, and Covid-19 will “certainly not” be over in the coming summer.