SPÖ boss Pamela Rendi-Wagner wants to bring the production of corona vaccines to Austria. The production of the vaccines is currently taking “far too long,” said Rendi-Wagner on Sunday at the APA. To this end, it proposes the establishment of a national vaccination fund, initially worth three billion euros, which will be used to finance relevant projects. Rendi-Wagner wants to provide financial support to companies that research or produce vaccines in Austria.
In Austria, “not even five percent of the population have been immunized,” said the SPÖ chairman in a written statement. She sees the production capacities of the vaccine manufacturers as the reason for this: “They are not designed to produce so much vaccine for everyone in the world in a very short space of time.” The production capacities would have to be massively expanded – “in Europe, but also in Austria”, said Rendi-Wagner, who had previously advocated “crisis production” in Europe at the end of January.
“We must not place the health of the population in the hands of three vaccine producers,” said the party leader. Corona will accompany Austria for years to come, “therefore the production of vaccines must be put on a reliable and safe footing. In order to protect ourselves in the long term, we have to bring parts of the vaccine production to Austria.”
In order to set up a research and development center in Austria, Rendi-Wagner proposes the creation of a national vaccination fund, which is to be endowed with three billion euros “in a first step”. The funds are to be raised via the capital markets “at current favorable conditions”.
The SP boss also advocates a research and production bonus of 30 percent. To this end, a “special fund” is to be created by mid-2022 as part of the research premium. Companies that research vaccines and build up new production capacities in Austria are to receive a bonus of 30 percent. Companies that make use of these funds would have to undertake to reserve part of the newly created production capacities for use in Austria. In addition, more funds are to be made available for research into vaccines at local universities and a “de-bureaucratisation” is to be implemented for plant permits, according to the SPÖ plan.