Viennese alderman for health Peter Hacker (SPÖ) has no problem with mandatory vaccination. “I’m not going to fight it. That was not our idea in Vienna, we supported it,” he told journalists on Thursday. The planned commitment led to many misunderstandings and misinterpretations: “It wasn’t the big howler.”
“If it leads to negative emotions about vaccination, which I think is the case, then it’s probably wiser to abolish vaccination,” Hacker said. But that does not mean that vaccination should be abolished. Motivation is needed here. Because the ommicrowave was only less of a burden on the hospitals because the vaccination rate was high, he pointed out.
Fall wave looms
Unfortunately, Hacker was also right about the number of infections. For weeks, the forecasts have shown that a summer wave is coming. Therefore, the mask requirement in Vienna has not been completely abolished and is still enforced on public transport. However, it now appears that the hospitals are again being heavily taxed – also because there are fewer employees during the holiday period. There is also a chance of an autumn wave.
The head of department was convinced that it would probably be necessary to reintroduce restrictive measures. “And all over Austria, not just in Vienna.” In addition to an extension of the mask requirement, the test system must also be “upgraded”. This prevents positive people from going to summer festivals, for example. “If it gets really dramatic, there will probably also have to be discussions about 2G rules or something like that.”
New Patient Advocate Introduced
Health Councilor Hacker made his statements during the presentation of the new nurse and patient lawyer Gerhard Jelinek. On July 1, 65-year-old ex-president of the Vienna Higher Regional Court will succeed Sigrid Pilz, who held the office for ten years – that is, more than two terms. Jelinek pledged today that he wanted to focus on dialogue and openness. In his experience, cooperation is better than confrontation, he emphasized.
“I am very happy to work for the people of Vienna for the next five years as head of this facility,” Jelinek said at his inaugural press conference. He sees his role as an intermediary between patients, home residents and the (care) sector. It was critical to him and his decision to apply that patient advocacy could act independently and without instructions.