People living in Vienna who have received a first dose of Astra Zeneca vaccine can now ask to be given an mRNA vaccine such as that from Biontech / Pfizer for the second vaccination (cross-vaccination).
According to the City of Vienna, 15,000 second jabs with AstraZeneca are currently still outstanding.
However, as Biontech/Pfizer is not in unlimited supply, it may not be possible for everyone to receive it as a second jab, broadcaster ORF reports.
Doctors retain discretion as to which vaccination will be administered the second time.
The AstraZeneca vaccine protects against the Delta variant of Covid-19 and the interval between doses has been shortened to four weeks, the city of Vienna points out.
However, Austria’s Medical Association (ÖAK) has spoken out clearly in favour of cross-vaccination, saying it provides a greater degree of protection.
“I would recommend choosing an mRNA vaccine as a second vaccination,” said Thomas Szekeres, President of the Austrian Medical Association.
Szekeres said results of studies into cross vaccination “are very encouraging. But it doesn’t matter if you get the same vaccine twice. It is important that you are vaccinated twice.”
Germany has adopted a ‘mix and match’ approach for some time, with Chancellor Angela Merkel being perhaps the most prominent person to be vaccinated via this approach.
Anyone who is interested in doing so can contact their doctor or call the 1450 hotline to make an appointment.