• Information on the COVID-19 vaccination

    Header Covd19-Impfung: Hintergrund magenta mit weißen und blauen Spritzen

Open vaccination days on campus – without pre-registration!

On October 1st, 4th and 5th, we are offering you the opportunity to get vaccinated on campus without pre-registration. This vaccination service also and especially applies to international students and staff who have not yet been vaccinated with a vaccine which has been centrally approved for use in the European Union. You can also take advantage of the COVID-19 vaccination offers provided by the Province of Carinthia and the other federal provinces.  More information about the vaccination days

Why should I get vaccinated against COVID-19?

Quite simply: We want you back at the university. We want to resume face-to-face research and teaching in familiar surroundings. We want a return to full lecture halls and life on campus. This is only feasible, if the highest possible number of people protect themselves and others by getting a COVID-19 vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccination contributes to individual protection and to the overall containment of the pandemic.

The EU licensed vaccines have proven to be very effective in clinical trials. The trial data revealed that participants vaccinated against COVID-19 were 95 % or 94 % less likely to contract COVID-19 than the participants who received the placebo vaccine. This means that an individual vaccinated against COVID-19 is highly unlikely to fall ill after coming into contact with SARS-CoV-2.

Effective and safe vaccinations can make a vital contribution to containing the pandemic and, in the medium term, they will allow the easing of contact restrictions. But first, a large proportion of the population will need to have developed a level of immunity towards the virus. The vaccination establishes relevant population immunity and greatly reduces the risk of becoming severely ill.

Grafik "Get vaccinated" mit Spritze

By now, there should also be plenty of vaccine available for your age group. We urge you to make use of the vaccination opportunities offered by your regional authority or your family doctor over the summer. If you return to campus fully vaccinated in October, it’s a win-win situation for everyone – it protects you and others. It also enables us to stage a more or less “normal” winter semester with a high level of face-to-face activities. The greater the number of persons returning to campus in October with a fully vaccinated status, the better our chances of experiencing a great semester. It’s up to you – please lend us your support.

How safe are the new COVID-19 vaccines?

A vaccine is only launched on the market after it has undergone adequate review (preclinical and clinical phase, regulatory review, requirements of the regulatory authorities and market approval, post-approval monitoring). Following market approval, continuous monitoring (“surveillance”) is carried out to record efficacy and possible side effects. The aggregation of national and international observations is a means of ensuring that vaccine risks are recorded even when they are so rare that they only become discernible once the number of vaccinations performed is very large.

Even with a new vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, there is a possibility that very rare side effects (very rare means e.g. 1 case per > 10,000 vaccinated persons) are only detected once the vaccine reaches the surveillance stage. Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have announced that they will simplify the approval process with regard to individual points in view of the urgency of the situation. However, the safety of the vaccines remains the first priority.

… and wasn’t there also something about a microchip? NO!!!!!!!! Notions such as this are conspiracy myths, and no more than that. Research on the COVID-19 vaccine is conducted by scientists. Their aim is to develop a sound protective vaccine against COVID-19.

What COVID-19 vaccines are there?

Information on mRNA-vaccines
(e. g. BioNtech/Pfizer and Moderna):

mRNA vaccines contain gene segments of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the form of messenger RNA (mRNA for short). This triggers the production of proteins in the cells of the body after vaccination, and these proteins stimulate the immune system to produce targeted antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and create a cellular defence against SARS-CoV-2 infected cells, thus generating an immune response. Proteins that stimulate an immune response are referred to as antigens.

… does the vaccination change my genetic make-up under certain conditions? NO!!!!! mRNA is not DNA. mRNA merely stimulates the immune system to produce targeted antibodies. The vaccine mRNA is quickly broken down by the cells. It is not converted into DNA and has no influence on human DNA, be it in somatic cells or in germline cells. Once the mRNA has been broken down, no further antigen production takes place.

Information on vector-based vaccines
(e. g. AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson)

Vector-based vaccines are made up of viruses that are harmless to humans and that have been genetically modified in such a way that their genome contains the genetic sequence with the blueprint for one or more components of the pathogen (antigen). The COVID-19 vector vaccine candidates contain non-hazardous, thoroughly researched carrier viruses, which have a gene inserted into their genome that contains the blueprint for the SARS-CoV-2 surface protein, the spike protein. The genetic information on the gene is then read out in the cells and “translated” into proteins. As such, the vector viruses serve as a “gene shuttle” for the spike protein gene. The spike protein formed on the basis of the transferred gene acts as an antigen to stimulate the body’s immune system to produce antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 (humoral immune response). Additionally, a T-cell response (CD4, CD8) can also be triggered (cellular immune response).

Get vaccinated.

Which vaccination reactions and side effects have been observed following vaccination against COVID 19?

As with any vaccination, vaccine reactions and side effects can occur after the COVID-19 vaccination. Reactions to the vaccination usually occur soon after the vaccination and may persist for a few days. The most commonly reported local reaction was pain around the injection site. Among the systemic reactions, fatigue and headache were most frequent. The occurrence of a high temperature after the first vaccination dose was less frequent than after the second vaccination dose.

Should I get vaccinated even though I’m a young person?

The answer is very simple: yes. Younger people can also develop a severe case of COVID. While this is rarer, it is certainly possible. What’s more, we will only be able to return to our daily (university) routine once sufficient numbers of people have been vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccination contributes to individual protection and also to the overall containment of the pandemic.

The vaccination will make a vital contribution to containing the pandemic and, in the medium term, it will allow the easing of contact restrictions. But first, a large proportion of the population will need to have developed a level of immunity towards the virus. The vaccination establishes relevant population immunity and greatly reduces the risk of severe COVID-19 disease.

Where and how can I get vaccinated?

You can register in advance for a voluntary vaccination using the vaccination platform provided the State of Carinthia: https://www.kaernten-impft.ktn.gv.at

Check the list below to find out how to register for the Corona vaccination in your region:

In Bavaria you can register for the vaccination here: https://impfzentren.bayern/

Click here for an overview of the vaccination centres in the various federal states of Germany: https://www.aponet.de/artikel/corona-impfung-die-wichtigsten-antworten-zum-ablauf-22320

Important information for international students

Currently, the rules state that only those persons who have been vaccinated with a vaccine licensed in the EU are regarded as vaccinated. Therefore, please get yourself vaccinated in Austria before you travel back home, e.g. for the summer break – and don’t forget your appointment for the second dose of the vaccine.

Where can I get further information?

Vaccination information provided by the State of Carinthia: https://coronainfo.ktn.gv.at/ (information in German)

COVID-19 vaccination in Austria – Dashboard: https://info.gesundheitsministerium.at/ (information in English is available)

Initiative “Österreich impft.” (transl. “Austria vaccinates.”) : https://www.österreich-impft.at (information in German)

Information in other languages

If you have a bit more time to invest:

Florian Krammer PhD, Professor of Microbiology (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY, USA) explains SARS-CoV-2, immunity and vaccines (English videos):