Vaccination start: how officials caused Zoff in the government

Behind the scenes, the emotions rose during the negotiations between Kurz, Kogler and Anschober at Ballhausplatz.

The first statement by Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner (ÖVP) after the end of the debates about the start of vaccination is a deep one. “I thank the Chancellor for ordering the vaccination start to be brought forward,” said the Army Minister.

Next to her at the press conference in the AGES health agency on Thursday is none other than Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens). It shows how intense the intra-coalition conflicts must have been in the Chancellery on Tuesday evening.

So the Chancellor is supposed to have taken the vaccination strategy in hand? How do you feel as the responsible health minister who has been criticized for days because of his strategy? Anchober had to put up with this question in many variations.


Do you feel left out? “It is absolutely clear that everyone in this federal government has an interest in getting vaccines that have been delivered to people as quickly as possible,” Anschober tried to calibrate. “Teamwork is the focus” for every decision.

The fact is, however, that the teamwork cited by Anschober was preceded by emotionally charged discussions in the Federal Chancellery. After the criticism of the late start of vaccination had become louder, Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP), Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler (G), Tanner and Anschober met. The meeting was interrupted several times on Tuesday because nobody moved, especially Anschober not.

One thing should be noted for the sake of order: The vaccination plan was a government decision – however, at that time the vaccination was not set on January 12th. But then came the record vaccination reports from Israel. Germany also had higher vaccination rates, while Austria hoarded more than 60,000 vaccine doses.

Unfortunate interviews

Not only the interview with the special representative for health, Clemens Martin Auer, in which he stubbornly defended the delayed start of the vaccination, caused a lot of resentment among the Turks, but above all the one ZiB2– Appearance of Katharina Reich, the new head of the public health section.

While Kurz, Anschober and Kogler were negotiating in the Federal Chancellery, Reich said im ORF, there is no need for a “ho-jerk” action, and announced that old people who do not live in institutions will not be vaccinated until March. “I was stunned when I heard this statement that February was always agreed for this risk group,” said a high-ranking VP.

Then the barrel overflowed with the turquoise. Here too, the Ministry of Health’s plan was rewritten. Now these people should be able to be vaccinated by the end of January. However, Anschober vehemently denied the rumors that Auer was about to be transferred.


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