Vienna to roll-out Covid-19 vaccines at supermarkets

In a bid to increase the number of vaccinated people, Covid-19 vaccines will now be offered at supermarkets in Vienna.

Vienna to roll-out Covid-19 vaccines at supermarkets
Austrian supermarket Billa, part of the Rewe group. Photo: Creative commons, Von Rewe Group - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA

The City of Vienna has announced some supermarkets will be offering appointment-free Covid-19 vaccinations from Wednesday 25th August.

Several supermarkets will join a list of other walk-in vaccination sites across the city, including shopping centres, mosques and St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

The new offering at BILLA, BILLA PLUS and Penny will be offered in cooperation with the REWE Group, and will be available at the front of supermarkets, as well at supermarket checkouts.

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Mario Dujakovic, spokesman for Health Councilor Peter Hacker, announced the move on Twitter. 

Dujakovic said: “Okay, in Simmering, Favoriten and Brigittenau there is really no easier way to get a COVID vaccination from tomorrow.” 

He then shared further details about the new supermarket vaccination offer, which will start with a media briefing at 9am on Wednesday at BILLA PLUS in Millennium City.

The response to the announcement on Twitter was mostly positive and Dujakovic added they will announce tomorrow which vaccines will be used in the campaign.

City Councillor for Health Peter Hacker and Marcel Haraszti, board member of REWE International AG, will be in attendance at the media briefing.

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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. 

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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.