First Austrian state to start Covid booster shots from Monday
Lower Austria will roll out Covid booster shots from Monday, August 30th, targeting people who are in high-risk categories.
Due to the rise in infections and people in hospital with Covid-19, Lower Austria will begin giving booster shots to high-risk and elderly patients in nursing homes and clinics from next week, broadcaster ORF reports.
People in very high-risk groups will receive their shots first, with people aged 65 and over will be able to get their third shot from mid-September.
The shots will be administered at the more than 400 medical practices in the state.
Deputy Governor Stephan Pernkopf said 94 percent of all patients currently being treated in hospitals for Covid-19 had not been vaccinated.
When will Covid booster shots be available in the rest of the country?
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.