Published: 28th January 2021
Survivors receive COVID-19 vaccine on Holocaust Remembrance Day
The International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a memorial day on January 27, every year that commemorates the six million victims of the Holocaust, the genocide of European Jews by Nazi Germany
Holocaust survivors in Austria and Slovakia received the coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday on the Holocaust Day of Remembrance. The International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a memorial day on January 27, every year that commemorates the six million victims of the Holocaust, the genocide of European Jews by Nazi Germany between 1941 and 1945.
This day was chosen to commemorate the lives lost as it was this day that the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated 76 years ago. According to The New York Times (NYT), about 400 people aged 85 and older, many of them Holocaust survivors, were vaccinated in Vienna on Wednesday, according to the Jewish Community of Vienna which helped organize the program in cooperation with the Austrian Ministry of Health.
As many as 12 doctors administered vaccinations, according to Erika Jakubovits, executive director of the Jewish Community of Vienna, who helped organize the event. The Hill reported that a similar initiative occurred in Slovakia with more Holocaust survivors getting vaccinated on Wednesday.
"I think we owe it to our parents and grandparents to take care of these Holocaust survivors," Jakubovits said on Wednesday, speaking by phone from a vaccine center as quoted by NYT. "People are very happy," she said further and added, "I think these are our most vulnerable members of society, and we have to treat them accordingly and to try to do everything for them." President of the European Jewish Congress Moshe Cantor called on European leaders, this week, to ensure that Holocaust survivors were given access to the vaccine. The organisation estimates that approximately 20,000 Holocaust survivors are still living in Europe.
"Throughout their lives, they have shown mighty strength of spirit, but in the current crisis, many have sadly died alone and in pain, or are now fighting for their lives, and many others are suffering from extreme isolation," Dr. Cantor said, speaking during an International Holocaust Remembrance Day event held online this week as quoted by NYT. NYT further reported that Holocaust survivors will be vaccinated this week in accordance with the program set up in Austria and Slovakia.