Austrian health minister: We will not be able to stop Omicron

Austria will not be able to stop the Omicron variant but “we can gain time to prepare in the best possible way”, Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein said. [EPA-EFE/CHRISTIAN BRUNA]

Austria can not stop the Omicron variant but “we can gain time to prepare in the best possible way”, Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein said after meeting with the WHO Europe director, broadcaster ORF reported.

Mückstein appealed to citizens to get a booster shot “before the holidays and give yourself and your family this Christmas gift.”

Starting January 2022, Austria will receive the first batches of the 750,000 newly approved Novavax vaccine, which many hope will quell vaccine sceptics’ concerns over the safety of mRNA vaccines.

Unlike the commonly used BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, Novavax is a so-called “traditional” vaccine, powered by dead virus cells.

Heading into one last crisis meeting on Wednesday, many are wary that restrictions will be tightened during the Christmas holidays to give “essential services” some slack before the next wave of infections from the Omicron variant.

(Nikolaus J. Kurmayer | EURACTIV.de)

Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe