Austria’s Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens) presented the country’s new information campaign on Covid-19 vaccination during a press conference on Monday, September 5th.
The campaign comes at the beginning of autumn and ahead of the colder months when respiratory infectious diseases tend to spread more quickly.
“The new campaign is closer to the people: We supplement classic advertising with direct personal advice on site, including at doctors, in pharmacies and schools – with information weeks, information events and information material.”, Rauch said.
Die neue Kampagne ist näher bei den Menschen: Wir ergänzen klassische Werbung mit direkter persönlicher Beratung vor Ort, u.a. bei Ärzt:innen, in Apotheken und in Schulen – mit Informationswochen, Infoveranstaltungen und -material. 2/3
— Johannes Rauch (@johannes_rauch) September 5, 2022
For that, he said the government had the support of the Chamber of Doctors and Pharmacists. The campaign also had its #GemeinsamGeimpft website (together vaccinated) revamped with more information on the vaccines.
Vaccination status in Austria
Rauch said that the campaign’s target group is the elderly and other vulnerable groups, but also young people, among whom the vaccination rate is generally low.
Currently, only 4.5 percent of the population has received a fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccination – though it’s worth mentioning that the fourth shot has only recently been recommended for the general population.
The health minister stressed the importance of the fourth dose, saying it reduces the risk of death by fourth-fifths and the risk of hospitalisation by half.
The information campaign will be conducted mainly through “counselling sessions” at doctors’ offices and pharmacies and in schools by medical professionals hosting “information evenings.”
Businesses will also be involved and 4.5 million reminders will be sent out at the end of November to all Austrians whose last vaccination was more than six months ago.
Finally, the cities and municipalities will also conduct their own information campaigns with the federal government’s support.
Should I get the booster vaccination (4th vaccination)?
The fourth vaccination has been recommended since 31 August for all persons aged 12 years and older.
It should be taken from four to six months after the third vaccination. The current vaccination scheme in Austria includes three doses for a primary immunisation for everyone older than five years old. The second dose should be taken from three to four weeks after the first.
The third dose should be taken four to six months after the second for people older than 12 or part of the risk groups. For children from five to 11 years old, the third dose should be taken at least six months after the second. There is currently no recommendation for a booster (or fourth) Covid-19 shot for children.