Politics

Long-term alliance with the vaccination world champion

Austria wants to set up a 50 million euro foundation with Denmark and Israel to fight the pandemic.

It was his first flight in a long time. Since Sebastian Kurz flew to Brussels in December, he has not been on an official mission abroad. But now he’s here. At “Bibi”, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is also there. And the meeting is politically beneficial for all three: Kurz and Frederiksen can show that they get tips from the vaccination world champion – more than half of them

8.8 million Israelis have been vaccinated since December.

And Mr Netanyahu has a parliamentary election to propose in a few days. Visits by foreign heads of government never hurt.

Two clear goals

As far as Denmark and Austria are concerned, the short trip was a pair run from the very first moment: Frederiksen landed in Vienna, let Kurz board her plane and together on the way to Tel Aviv the two of them worked on what could be brought from the Holy Land as a message .

For the Chancellery, two goals were clear in advance: On the one hand, there should be closer cooperation with Israel and Denmark in research, development and production of vaccines. And then they wanted to get Ezzes from the Israelis for the “Green Pass”. This brings more normality to those who have recovered and who have been vaccinated. The pass allows visits to cinemas, theaters and gyms. Brussels would like to adapt the passport, so trips abroad could become possible again.

Speaking of Brussels: On this day, too, the Chancellery declares that it is not against or without, but parallel to the EU. “We are in close coordination with Ursula von der Leyen.”

But what was the pact made in Jerusalem? The three “dynamic small countries” (© Netanyahu) want to set up a fund that will finance the research and production of vaccines with 50 million euros.

Long-term cooperation

Asher Salmon knows what Austria could learn from Israel when it comes to vaccination. The doctor is the head of the international department in the Israeli Ministry of Health and is on site that day. “We followed the principle of keeping things as simple as possible. That means: We only had one computer system in which vaccinations can be registered. And we vaccinated in large vaccination centers in order to have enough customers for the doses. “

There was no prioritization between the older population groups. “In the first phase, we addressed all people over 65, it didn’t matter whether you were 66 or 87.” So there is no pre-ranking of the very old? “Our experience was that we could also address older patients who were skeptical in this way. You have seen: the rush is great. “

If it works, the cooperation with Denmark and Israel is intended to last longer. Experts assume that Corona will remain a political issue for years. “We have to adjust to it,” says Kurz, “that the pandemic will concern us for a long time due to the mutations.” In the near future, Austria will need around 30 million vaccine doses. What for? “We assume that two thirds of the population, i.e. more than six million Austrians, will have to be vaccinated every year in the coming years.”

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