100,000 vaccine doses from Biontech/Pfizer to be delivered in advance to Tyrol.
The Tyrolean district of Schwaz, which is particularly affected by the South African coronavirus variant, is to be vaccinated with the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine.
In cooperation with the EU Commission, Biontech/Pfizer, the Federal Government and the Province of Tyrol, it was possible to provide 100,000 additional vaccine doses from Biontech/Pfizer as an advance delivery.
The exit test obligation for North Tyrol will be extended.
Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP), Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Grüne), Tyrol’s Governor Günther Platter (ÖVP) and Deputy Governor Ingrid Felipe (Grüne) announced the plans in a joint press conference in Vienna and Innsbruck, which was linked together via livestream. “It is our chance to eradicate the variant in the district of Schwaz,” Kurz said, or bring it close to zero.
Start is second week of March
The project is to be accompanied nationally and internationally by scientists, and a study is to be conducted to gain insights into vaccination for the South African mutation.
The vaccination campaign is scheduled to start in the second week of March. The plan is to offer the vaccine to everyone in the Schwaz district – according to Health Minister Anschober from the age of 16.
For those leaving the district of Schwaz, there will be an obligation to test, Platter announced. This is to begin around 10 March, parallel to the start of vaccination. For the duration of the vaccination campaign, it will only be possible to leave the district of Schwarz with a negative test.
Until then, the current compulsory exit test for Tyrol will be extended. This means that persons staying in Northern Tyrol may continue to cross the Tyrolean borders only if they can show a negative Corona test that is not older than 48 hours.
Kurz said the South African variant was so challenging “because many studies indicate that at least one of our vaccines is likely to be significantly less effective”. This is a “great danger for the way back to normality”.
Tyrol “particularly affected
The Tyrol was and is “particularly affected” by the outbreak of one of the largest clusters of the South African variant in Europe. He was satisfied with the steps taken so far, saying that it had been possible to reduce the number of active cases from around 200 to less than 100. Now the aim is to get down to zero.
Deputy Governor Felipe spoke of a “ray of hope” because of the vaccination project. Like Platter, she thanked the population for participating in the tests and at the same time appealed to them to accept the announced vaccination offer.
Health Minister Anschober said the goal was to prevent the further spread of the variant. In Tyrol, measures such as contact tracing had worked well. The South African variant had gradually decreased again and now only accounted for 5.11 per cent of the total number of infections. He described the mandatory exit test for Schwaz as “very positive”.