SHARE
COPY LINK

COVID-19 VACCINES

UPDATE: Austria to roll out Covid booster shots in autumn

Austria is planning a third Covid booster shot “in due course”, with indications they will take place in autumn.

UPDATE: Austria to roll out Covid booster shots in autumn
Booster shots for Covid-19 look set to take place from autumn 2021. Photo by THOMAS LOHNES / AFP

The Austrian government is starting to prepare for autumn with plans for booster shots against Covid-19. 

The Ministry of Health has told the broadcaster ORF that the federal government will continue to be responsible for the distribution of vaccines, while the federal states will implement the campaigns.

Booster jabs should start to be given from mid-October, initially targeting high risk groups, who were first vaccinated in mid-January.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein said the shots will start in nursing homes as soon as approval is given at a European level. 

Kurz and Mückstein issued a statement saying they expect “new scientific knowledge about the need for a third vaccination soon”. 

“The top priority is protecting the elderly and vulnerable groups. We therefore expect the EMA to be promptly informed about the need for a third vaccination against the coronavirus.

“In any case, we are prepared and have agreed with the state vaccination coordinators that we can start the third vaccination immediately after a possible recommendation.”

It is currently assumed that a third jab should take place around nine months after the second vaccination, unless you were vaccinated with a single dose from the manufacturer Johnson & Johnson or have recovered from a case of Covid-19, in which case the booster shot will be the second jab.

These plans are being developed by the Austrian states, who are in charge of administering the vaccines. 

“Based on the current study situation, it is not yet possible to conclusively assess whether a booster vaccination will really be necessary for everyone after nine months,” said the ministry. 

ORF reports that there may be differences in the plans for booster shots from state to state. 

The exact timing will be known when the European approval authority EMA makes its recommendations, however the Austrian government has indicated it will have enough supply to carry out booster shots regardless of who they will be administered to. 

Lower Austria was the first state to roll out Covid booster shots, doing so in late August. Carintha became the second just a few weeks later

Booster shots for people over 60 are already being administered in Israel, with the second doses of the vaccine carried out five months ago. 

Germany has also indicated it will administer booster shots for people in risk groups from September. 

Vaccinations started in August from January 2021. 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

COVID-19 VACCINES

What to know about Austria’s new advice on Covid vaccines

As the coronavirus pandemic progressed, each country developed its own vaccination recommendation, which often changed. Here is the new advice from the Austrian vaccination panel.

What to know about Austria's new advice on Covid vaccines

The Austrian National Vaccination Panel has updated its recommendations on Covid vaccination on several points, the Ministry of Health announced.

“Special attention continues to be paid to the completion of the basic immunisation, which is recommended for all persons five years of age and older, and to the booster vaccination,” according to the Ministry of Health.

The booster shot is generally available to all persons 12 years of age and older and is free of charge, but it is especially recommended for persons 60 years of age and older and those at risk.

READ ALSO: Masks against Covid and flu: What’s ahead for Austria this winter

In Austria, the basic immunisation against Covid-19 consists of three vaccine doses. A fourth dose, also known as a booster shot, is also recommended.

What is new in the recommendation?

Austria is adding a new coronavirus vaccine, from Sanofi (VidPrevtyn Beta), to the list of offers against the virus. The new vaccine is protein-based and has already been approved by the European authorities. 

In Austria, the Sanofi vaccine can be used from the third vaccination onwards on people older than 18. The offer will be available at the vaccination sites in the coming week at the earliest, according to the Ministry. 

READ ALSO: Colds and flu: What to do and say if you get sick in Austria

Another change is that the variant Comirnaty Original/Omicron BA.4-5 from BioNTech/Pfizer will also be used for the third vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 years. 

This vaccine is specially adapted to the virus variants Omicron BA.4 and 5. It is now available for children in a special application shot that should be in vaccination sites starting next week at the earliest. 

READ ALSO: What to expect from the ski season in Austria this winter

Also included in the recommendations is a clarification specifically on an additional booster vaccination (fifth vaccination). 

People at risk from the age of 18, and those from the age of 60 can receive the additional booster vaccination four months after the fourth vaccination. According to the vaccination panel, no fifth vaccination is necessary for healthy people under 60.

SHOW COMMENTS