Austria Plans to Start COVID-19 Booster Shots in October

By Reuters Staff

August 11, 2021

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria plans to start COVID-19 vaccine booster shots on Oct. 17, nine months after the first group of people to get the jabs received their second dose, the country's health minister said on Tuesday.

The first wave included vulnerable people in nursing homes and medical personnel, Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein told broadcaster ORF in an interview.

"There are certain groups, for example immunosuppressed people, where it may be possible to vaccinate even earlier after consultation with the doctor," Mueckstein said.

With a population of 8.9 million, Austria has logged 659,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 10,500 deaths from the disease since the pandemic began last year.

It was set to administer its 10 millionth dose of vaccine on Tuesday.

Around 60% of the total population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 54% are fully vaccinated, according to government data.

Germany, France and Israel said last week they will go ahead with plans to administer COVID-19 vaccine boosters, disregarding an appeal by the World Health Organisation to hold off until more people are vaccinated around the world.