Reader question: Do I need my e-card to get vaccinated in Austria?
Regardless of what type of insurance you have, you’re likely to have an e-card. But do you need one to get vaccinated in Austria?
Austria’s vaccination drive began in December and is hitting its stride.
As vaccinations become available to the general public, one question we have been asked regularly is what kind of documentation you need to get vaccinated in Austria.
More specifically, people have asked us whether you need to be an Austrian citizen to get vaccinated - and whether people who cross the border to work in Austria are also entitled to the vaccine.
Put simply, in order to get vaccinated in Austria you need to have an Austrian social security number and/or an e-card. Here’s what you need to know.
As with most medical procedures in Austria, the most important document is the e-card.
The Austrian e-card is an electronic chip card linked to the electronic administration system of Austria’s social insurance system, which includes health, accident, pension and unemployment insurance.
Anyone who wants to get vaccinated in Austria will need to present their e-card.
Foreigners who are resident in Austria will have an e-card, as will most cross-border workers.
This means that foreigners who live abroad and who do not have Austrian citizenship are unable to access the vaccine in Austria.
In addition to your e-card, you should try bring your vaccination certificate and your allergy passport if you have these documents.
If you do not have the latter two documents however, this will not prevent the vaccination.
But what if I don’t have an e-card?
According to official government information, you need to present your e-card when you get vaccinated in order to receive the jab.
While this is unlikely to cause problems for the vast majority of Austrians and Austrian residents who have e-cards, some people such as foreign students and temporary workers do not have an e-card.
People who work for international organisations and who do not have e-cards can get vaccinated by showing their diplomatic residency cards when the vaccination takes place.
According to the Vienna Bar Association (RAK), people who do not have an e-card will not be prevented from getting the vaccine, provided they have an Austrian social security/insurance number.
As the RAK noted in a specific briefing in January 2021:
"Persons who have a national insurance number are registered in the Central Patient Index (Zentralen Patientenindex/ZPI) - even without a current e-card."
"This also applies to persons who were once insured or co-insured in Austria. Therefore, they can be administered in the e-vaccination passport. Persons who do not appear in the ZPI receive an error message during identification. They can then only be documented on paper."
How do I get an e-card or a social security number in order to get vaccinated?
If you do not already have an e-card or social security number, fortunately these are not difficult to get.
You can apply for an e-card for the purpose of vaccination or to get the Covid-19 green pass at the ELGA website here, provided you have a current photo.
You can also apply in person at the service points of the Austrian Health Insurance Fund (Österreichische Gesundheitskasse), which can be found here.
More information is available here, or by reading our following explainer.
Note: As with all of our coronavirus reports, please remember that they are guides only and do not constitute legal advice. Please contact your vaccination centre before your appointment to check if you have sufficient documentation to be vaccinated.