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Holocaust survivors receive COVID vaccine on Holocaust remembrance day

Holocaust survivors receive COVID vaccine on Holocaust remembrance day
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Holocaust survivors in Austria and Slovakia received the coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday on the Holocaust Day of Remembrance. 

More than 400 elderly Holocaust survivors were vaccinated in the capital of Austria, said Jewish Community of Vienna, The New York Times reported. Holocaust Remembrance day coincides with the day the Auschwitz death camp was liberated. 

Erika Jakubovits, executive director of the Jewish Community of Vienna, said 12 doctors were on site to help administer the vaccine. 

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A similar initiative occurred in Slovakia with more Holocaust survivors getting vaccinated on Wednesday. There are only an estimated 20,000 Holocaust survivors left in Europe. 

“I think we owe it to our parents and grandparents to take care of these Holocaust survivors,” Jakubovits told the New York Times. 

The liberation of Auschwitz only happened 76 years ago after six million Jewish people lost their lives during the Holocaust. Although Holocaust survivors are old enough to be prioritized for the coronavirus vaccine, some feel they were lost in the process.

“We have all been lost during the current pandemic, but the survivors of the Holocaust even more so,” European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor said. “Therefore, I call on European leaders to ensure that Holocaust survivors have access as soon as possible to a safe and effective vaccination and with the highest priority.”

Most countries have been prioritizing the elderly since they are one of the highest risk groups for the virus. More Holocaust survivors will be vaccinated this week in accordance with the program set up in Austria and Slovakia.