Vaccination start in Europe: together against the virus

Vaccinations against the corona virus have also been carried out in other European countries. In Italy a nurse was the first to be vaccinated, elsewhere doctors, high-risk patients or even the head of government. An overview.

Not only in Germany, but also in many European countries, the first people were vaccinated against the Sars-CoV-2 virus. “We can start 2021 with optimism, there is light at the end of the tunnel,” said EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen described the start of vaccination as a “touching moment of unity” and a European “success story”.


In Italy, the worst affected by the pandemic in Europe, three health care workers at the Spallanzani Hospital in Rome received the vaccine developed by Biontech.

“Today I’m here as a citizen, but above all as a nurse to represent my profession and all health workers who believe in science,” said 29-year-old nurse Claudia Alivernini, who was the first to be vaccinated.


In the northernmost German neighbor, Denmark, 79-year-old Leif Hasselberg was the first to receive the vaccination in Odense. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said there is now a “light at the end of the tunnel after the most difficult year since World War II”. Visibly moved by the vaccinations, she spoke to reporters of a “great turning point for the whole world”.


The infection specialist Vladimir Krcmery received the first vaccination in Slovakia on Saturday in Nitra, 75 kilometers east of Bratislava. “It’s a great honor for me. Thank you very much,” said the 60-year-old. Further vaccination doses have been distributed to hospitals in Kosice, Banska Bystrica and Bratislava.


In Hungary, too, the vaccination campaign started a day earlier: Senior physician Adrienne Kertesz was the first to receive the vaccination. She had waited a long time for this moment, she told the state television station M1. The vaccination now enables her to continue working safely. As head of the infection control department, she mainly works with Covid-19 patients.


In the Paris suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis, hospital staff applauded a 78-year-old who was the first to have the injection. “I’m moved,” said the retired housekeeper. In Seine-Saint-Denis, which is characterized by social problems, the number of infections with the corona virus is particularly high.

Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, the first public vaccination was the populist Prime Minister Andrej Babis. He explained that he had seen a woman on television who said she wanted to “wait for Babis” to get the vaccination. There is nothing to worry about, Babis continued.


Alicja Jakubowska, head nurse at a Warsaw hospital, was the first Polish woman to be vaccinated. “This is a historic moment for me. The hospital management chose me. A nurse is the first to be vaccinated, a tribute to the hardworking nurses and midwives,” she said.


“I am happy that I can now see my great-grandchildren,” said Branka Anicic, a resident of a nursing home in Zagreb and the first person to have an injection in Croatia. It feels good to be first in their country. Others should follow suit.


In Romania, a nurse at the Matei Bals research institute in Bucharest was the first to be vaccinated: “It didn’t hurt at all,” she said. “Open your eyes and get the vaccine.”


“I’m proud to be vaccinated,” said Mónica Tapias. The 48-year-old employee of the Los Olmos care home in Guadalajara was vaccinated together with the 96-year-old resident Araceli Hidalg as the first Spanish women. “Let’s see if we can all pull ourselves together and make the virus go away,” she added.


In Austria, five risk patients over 80 were vaccinated first at the Medical University of Vienna. The three women and two men received the injection in the presence of Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Minister of Health Rudolf Anschober.

In total, at least 16 million corona infections and more than 336,000 deaths have been recorded in the 27 EU countries. In addition to Italy, for example, Spain had such high numbers at the beginning of this year that both were considered hotspots in a global comparison. Other EU countries, such as the Czech Republic, were initially spared worse, but in the autumn their health care system was about to collapse.

The Tagesschau reported on this topic on December 27, 2020 at 4:47 p.m. and NDR Info at 5:22 p.m. in the news.

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