Covid-19 Vaccine: Austria Starts on December 27

Lifestyle & TravelHealth ♦ Published: December 23, 2020; 20:10 ♦ (Vindobona)

The vaccination process against Covid-19 in Austria will start on December 27. As already announced by the President of the European Commission Von der Leyen, the vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer is distributed in the upcoming days, making a vaccination start before 2021 possible.

From left to right: President of Austrian Society for Vaccinology Wiedermann-Schmidt, Chancellor Kurz, Health Minister Anschober, and President of the Austrian Medical Association Szekeres. / Picture: © Bundeskanzleramt (BKA) / Dragan Tatic

"We are living in a very challenging period and we are all aware that this will not be over with Christmas and the end of the year. There are more challenging months ahead. But we have also always known and hoped that the Covid-19 vaccination will be the game changer, that it can initiate the beginning of victory over the pandemic."

This is how Chancellor Sebastian Kurz states the current situation with regard to the Covid-19 vaccine.

In a joint press conference with Health Minister Rudolf Anschober, with the President of the Austrian Society for Vaccinology Ursula Wiedermann-Schmid, and the President of the Austrian Medical Association Thomas Szekeres, the government together with medical experts gave an overview of the vaccination procedure in the following months.

Kurz said he was pleased that the vaccine could be developed so quickly and thanked all those involved in the process of research and approval, especially the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, as well as the researchers and pharmaceutical companies.

"The start of vaccination in Austria will take place at 9 a.m. on Sunday, December 27," the Chancellor informed.

The first vaccinations would be carried out by the Chair of the Vaccination Commission, Ursula Wiedermann-Schmidt, and President of the Medical Chamber, Thomas Szekeres, at the Medical University of Vienna.

"This day will go down in history" and is "a reason for joy," Sebastian Kurz continued.

Almost one million vaccine doses from the manufacturers BioNTech and Pfizer would initially be available to Austria for the first three months.

In January over 240,000 doses, in February over 332,000 and in March over 375,000 doses will be available.

Beyond that, the government hopes for further vaccines from other offerers, who are already briefly before the permission, so the Federal Chancellor.

"It is very positive that we can start vaccination not only in all EU countries, but also in all of Austria at the same time," Kurz stressed, pointing out that the individual tranches should be distributed as evenly and fairly as possible throughout the country.

This would be ensured with the help of the Austrian Armed Forces.

The first vaccine doses would be delivered across the border near Passau on December 26.

Afterwards the distribution would take place immediately in all federal provinces, in order to ensure the inoculation start on December 27.

High-risk groups would be vaccinated first, particularly elderly people over 80 years of age and especially those in nursing homes, as well as healthcare workers in exposed areas.

In conclusion, the Chancellor recalled that the disease can take a severe course and has been shown to have a high mortality rate, particularly among the elderly.

Therefore, he said, vaccination makes sense and is important:

"With vaccination, we have a game changer. With it, we will all be able to protect ourselves."