Austria: Vienna unveils flu ′vaccine tram′ | News | DW | 01.10.2020

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Austria: Vienna unveils flu 'vaccine tram'

Authorities in Vienna want more residents to get the seasonal flu vaccine and reduce the load on hospitals struggling with coronavirus infections. People in the city can hop aboard for a free jab.

Austria's capital city of Vienna unveiled a "vaccine tram" on Thursday as part of a campaign to provide residents with free flu vaccinations.

"The aim is to get a large number of Viennese residents inoculated... so that the capacities in the hospitals remain free because we don't know what this winter will hold," in terms of coronavirus infections, Michael Ludwig, Vienna's mayor, said at an event to unveil the tram.

Cases of coronavirus are on the rise again in Europe, with new daily cases reaching over 10,000 in Spain and France.

While coronavirus vaccines are available in countries such as Russia, their effectiveness has been questioned. The EU has not approved a coronavirus vaccine for use in the bloc.

Read more: Coronavirus: Europe death rate set for autumn rise, warns WHO

Health care workers on the vaccine tram

Vienna hopes more residents will get shots this flu season

All aboard the flu tram

The Viennese are being urged to either register for a spot on the special tram, known as the "Impf-Bim," or head to one of several health centers and around 600 doctors' offices where the vaccine is being administered.

The tram will be used for vaccinations until November 13, according to Vienna transport provider Wiener Linien.

"We think we can have a threefold increase in the vaccination rate this year, and we hope to motivate many Viennese to get vaccinated," Ludwig said.

The city has acquired 400,000 vaccines, enough to cover about 25% of the population.

Currently, Vienna accounts for more than half of Austria's coronavirus infections, with close to 4,500 active cases.

Latest figures for the country show over 45,600 total cases and 802 deaths.

Read more: German Chancellor Merkel warns of tough months ahead in pandemic fight

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