Shortly after 9 a.m. on Sunday morning, the first five Austrians were immunized with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine at the special outpatient department for vaccinations, travel and tropical medicine at the Medical University of Vienna. The pensioner (and great-grandmother) Theresia Hofer was the first Austrian to be vaccinated against the coronavirus on Sunday. Professor Ursula Wiedermann-Schmidt, the chairwoman of the Austrian vaccination commission, injected the lady and four other patients each with a dose of the first corona vaccine from Biontech / Pfizer approved in the EU.
“It didn’t hurt at all,” said Ms. Hofer. And that she is happy to soon experience a certain degree of normalcy again and to be able to see her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. “This is a historic day,” said Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz at the subsequent press conference, especially the scientific achievement of developing and producing a highly effective vaccine in such a short time. “The vaccination is the beginning of the victory over the pandemic”, said Kurz, the vaccine is a “game changer”.
10,000 vaccine doses for 5,000 Austrians (two vaccine doses are required within three weeks to be fully effective) were delivered over the weekend and vaccinated since Sunday. The vaccination program with the larger deliveries will only expand after the turn of the year. Then the high-risk groups are immunized first, i.e. people over 80 with a focus on nursing homes. Then older people and employees of the critical infrastructure, and only in the third phase all other Austrians, if they want that. Kurz and Health Minister Anschober emphasized once again that the vaccination is voluntary.
After the first five vaccinations in the media, others started in all federal states – except in Carinthia.