The Schwaz district in Tyrol, which is particularly badly affected by the South African coronavirus variant, is to be completely vaccinated with the vaccine from Biontech / Pfizer.
In cooperation with the EU Commission, Biontech / Pfizer, the federal government and the state, the federal government and the Tyrolean state government announced on Wednesday that 100,000 additional vaccine doses from Biontech / Pifzer were made available in advance. The district becomes a research region.
100,000 additional vaccination doses from Biontech / Pfizer are delivered
Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP), Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens), Tyrolean Governor Günther Platter (ÖVP) and Deputy Governor Ingrid Felipe (Greens) announced the plans in a joint press conference in Vienna and Innsbruck, which was connected via livestream. “It is our chance to wipe out the variant in the Schwaz district,” said Kurz, or to bring it to zero.
The project is to be accompanied nationally and internationally by scientists, in a study to gain knowledge about vaccination against the South African mutation. The second week of March is planned as the starting time for the vaccination campaign. The plan provides for the vaccine to be offered to everyone in the Schwaz district – according to Health Minister Anschober from the age of 16.
Compulsory departure test for the Schwaz district
For the exit from the Schwaz district, there will be a test obligation, announced Platter. This should begin around March 10th parallel to the start of the vaccination. For the duration of the vaccination campaign, you will only be able to leave the district of Schwarz with a negative test.
Until then, the current mandatory exit test for Tyrol will be extended. This means that people who are in North Tyrol are only allowed to cross the Tyrolean borders if they can show a negative corona test that is not older than 48 hours.
South Africa mutation endangers “way back to normality”
Kurz said that the South African variant is so challenging “because many studies suggest that at least one of our vaccines is likely to work significantly worse.” This is a “great danger to the way back to normal”.
It is known that Tyrol “was and is particularly affected” and that one of the largest clusters of the South African variant in Europe has broken out there. He was satisfied with the steps taken so far that it had been possible to go down from around 200 active cases at the peak to below 100 active cases. Now it is important to come to zero.
Deputy Governor Felipe spoke of the vaccination project as a “ray of hope and a ray of hope”. Like Platter, she thanked the population for participating in the previous tests – and at the same time made an appeal to accept the announced vaccination offer.
Further spread is to be prevented
Health Minister Anschober said the aim was to prevent the variant from spreading further. In Tyrol, the measures such as contact tracing worked well, the South African variant has gradually decreased and is now only 5.11 percent of the total infection rate. He described the mandatory exit test for Schwaz as “very positive”. On the planned vaccination project in the badly affected district, Anschober said that it was “a completely new quality, a sign of European solidarity”.
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