Vienna and Lower Austria have already announced that vaccinations will start in nursing homes on Sunday.
The first vaccinations in Vienna are set to take place in the Favoriten Clinic, in the facility’s nursing home and Covid-19 ward.
Vaccinations will also take place in several retirement and nursing homes in Lower Austria, governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP) announced on Monday.
Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) welcomed the approval of the first vaccine in a statement and spoke of a “pleasant day after ten months of hard struggle against the coronavirus pandemic.”
Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens) hailed the vaccine’s arrival as representing a “turnaround in the fight against the pandemic”.
While vaccinations will take place across the country from Sunday, only 10,000 are expected to be completed by the end of the year.
In January another 240,825 doses will arrive in Austria, followed by additional deliveries in February (331,500) and March (375,375) of the Biontech / Pfizer vaccine.
In 2021, the first doses of the Moderna vaccine are also expected in Austria, subject to EU approval.
The European Medicines Agency said that it expects the vaccines to be effective against mutations, such as the one seen in the UK which has led to a suspension of travel.
Who gets the vaccine first in Austria?
Under Austria’s three-phase coronavirus vaccination plan, residents and staff in retirement homes will be vaccinated first.
Phase two will see health workers and people in other vulnerable categories vaccinated.
Starting in April, phase three will see the vaccine available to the general public.