The AstraZeneca vaccine was also intended to be used by general practitioners. The vaccine from Pfizer / Biontech was “logistically more difficult,” said Szekeres, because of the storage at minus 70 degrees and the sensitive thawing criteria for resident doctors. “But it can be organized. It’s just not that easy.” The President of the Medical Association suspects that immunization for high-risk patients will begin in March. He, too, has now registered his 86-year-old mother-in-law for the vaccination and is waiting for a reaction. Many elderly people would consult their GPs. But “a lot is still open”.
The number of new corona infections in Austria continues to be constant and has not fallen as expected. “The numbers have to drop well below 1,000 a day.” Currently, this is an average of 1,500 new infections every day. The tightening of the measures – FFP2 masks must be worn on public transport and in retail from Monday – are now decisive. Politicians will decide whether the lockdown will be extended due to the highly contagious mutations, said the President of the Medical Association. But Szekeres is of the opinion that if the infections increase – for example in gondolas in ski areas – this area should be closed. The Medical Association President sees a step in success through frequent testing and the acceleration of vaccination.
The government did a lot right. Austria was one of the first countries that decided to lockdown in March 2020. “Then of course mistakes happened. I think everyone makes mistakes in such a situation,” said Szekeres. “Nobody enjoys doing these lockdowns and nobody enjoys being in lockdown,” he said. “The alternative to lockdown is to watch the numbers explode.”