An 84-year-old woman from Lower Austria was the first to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in Austria on Sunday morning. She finally wanted to be able to meet her family, grandchildren and great-grandchildren again, said Theresia Hofer after the injection.
Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (VP), who together with Health Minister Rudi Anschober (Greens) attended the vaccinations at the medical university, spoke of a historic day: “The vaccination is the beginning of the victory over the pandemic.” Both politicians insured that vaccination was not considered.
The first 10,000 doses of the vaccine, which must be stored at minus 74 degrees Celsius, were previously transported to the federal states by the armed forces. They also decided where the vaccinations would start. The next tranche should be delivered around New Year’s Eve. Rudi Anschober expects that “things will really get going in the second week of January”. In total, Austria has secured around four million doses from Biontech / Pfizer; two vaccinations are required per person at intervals of 21 days. The managing director of Pfizer Austria, Robin Rumler, stated that his company had enough vaccine doses available for almost three million Austrians.
Video: Accompanied by politics and cameras, the first people in Austria were vaccinated against the corona virus on Sunday morning.
Who will be vaccinated and when?
The chairperson of the Austrian Vaccination Commission, Ursula Wiedermann-Schmidt, carried out the first vaccination. She is also a member of the National Vaccination Committee, which made further recommendations on the distribution of the vaccine on St. This specifies exactly which target groups should be vaccinated first. Phase one – residents and staff of old people’s homes and hospitals – started yesterday. A further 230,000 vaccines are expected for this group in January (see also box).
The Ministry of Health expects that the vaccinations in the group with the “high priority” can be started from February. The 16 to 60-year-olds are the last to come. Vaccination is not yet planned for children and adolescents under 16 years of age.
The recommendations of the vaccination committee also explicitly emphasize that people with known allergies should be vaccinated. In contrast, there is currently only limited experience with pregnant women. “A vaccination should also be carried out after an infection has already gone through,” the commission recommends. It is not yet known how long the protection will last, but it is assumed that the viral load and thus the risk of infecting others are lower. Masks should be worn for the time being.
Electronic ordering system
It is expected that the vaccine from Moderna will soon be approved and that from AstraZeneca soon thereafter. Anschober announced an electronic ordering system, but has not yet explained this in more detail. Slovenia could serve as a model: there, those willing to vaccinate are registered and informed when it is their target group’s turn.
Kurz was confident that normality would be possible again by summer. And Anschober also said that Austria would be so well equipped with vaccinations by autumn that there would be no fear of the next autumn and winter. (gana)
Video: ORF correspondent Veronika Fillitz reports on the procurement of the vaccines and explains why the EU was able to assert itself over national interests in this case.
The prioritization of the target groups in detail:
- Very high priority: Residents and staff of retirement and nursing homes as well as the health sector, over 80 year olds.
- High priority: People with previous illnesses and a particularly high risk (trisomy 21, organ transplant recipients, dementia, dialysis patients) and their closest contact persons, people from the mobile and 24-hour care sector and the age group 75 to 79 years.
- Increased priority: People between 70 and 74 years of age and those with previous illnesses (obesity, heart failure, COPD, asthma, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, cancer and the like). Asylum seekers, homeless people, inmates and the responsible staff in prisons, social professions, pastoral workers.
- Moderately increased priority: Teachers, kindergarten teachers, police, ambulance, key personnel and people between 65 and 69.
- Moderate priority: Between 60 and 64, employees in retail, gastronomy / tourism, personal services, artists, top athletes.
- Priority slightly increased: Amateurs, cultural workers in the private sector (e.g. choirs), teaching staff at high schools and universities.
- Priority general recommendation: 16 to 60 year olds.
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