Willingness there, but no vaccine. Vaccination coverage must be a top priority.
The Austrian Medical Association (ÖAK) made an appeal to the government on Thursday to procure more vaccine so that the population can get vaccinated faster. “The vaccination process started slowly and has to accelerate,” ÖAK President Thomas Szekeres appealed to those responsible. “The demand is now very high – but the vaccine is missing,” said Harald Mayer, Vice President and Federal Curia Chairman of the employed doctors of the ÖAK.
Because not only in the medical profession there are increasing requests for a vaccination, says Mayer. It is shocking that the vaccination coverage of the population is proceeding so slowly: “The protection of the population and the procurement of currently approved vaccines for vaccination coverage must have top priority – no matter what the cost. Our health must be worth it.”
Mishaps such as the procurement of protective equipment and gaps in the protection of vulnerable groups, especially in nursing and old people’s homes, should not be repeated, criticized the ÖÄK Vice President. “We need a clear vaccination strategy with transparent communication with each individual citizen when he has the opportunity to vaccinate against Covid-19,” he said.
One could learn from individual EU countries with a comparatively significantly higher vaccination rate than Austria. “There is not only a need for action in the procurement of approved vaccines, but also in information and communication. In addition, one could consider vaccinating in hospitals or building vaccination routes in front of them,” said Mayer.
“Doctors in private practice play a central role in the vaccination strategy in most of the federal states,” recalls Johannes Steinhart, ÖAK Vice President and Federal Curia chairman for doctors in private practice. “Therefore, they should be prioritized accordingly in the vaccination plans. Only protected doctors can then be safely included in further vaccination strategies.”