Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens) has predicted a rollout of the coronavirus vaccine in the first quarter of 2021 – with the vaccine available for everyone in Austria in the second quarter.
Speaking on Wednesday, Anschober said he expected the vaccine to be available next year, with health workers and people in risk groups first in line from January to March 2021.
The Ministry of Health is prioritising people who are at the greatest “personal or systemic risk” for the first dose of the vaccine.
Anschober said people with serious medical conditions that make them vulnerable to the virus as well as people over the age of 70 would be prioritised.
The vaccine would then be made available to the broader public, Anschober said.
“I assume that the other interested population can then be vaccinated gradually from the second quarter onwards. We are currently preparing the vaccination logistics for this,” he said.
How will Austria vaccinate?
Given the need to vaccinate millions of people twice within a relatively short frame of time, Austria’s normal vaccination structures are unlikely to be sufficient.
Instead, Der Standard reports that Austria is likely to set up mobile vaccination teams.
Austria is currently setting up a national vaccination strategy in coordination with the European Union.
The Health Ministry said the strategy would be finalised once a vaccine was actually approved for use.