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COVID-19 HEALTH PASS

Reader question: Can I use a foreign vaccination certificate as proof in Austria?

Say you had your coronavirus shots in another country. How can you show this - and will it be accepted in Austria?

Reader question: Can I use a foreign vaccination certificate as proof in Austria?
A vaccination certificate underneath vials of the Pfizer/Biontech coronavirus vaccine. Photo: CHRISTOF STACHE / AFP

After starting slowly, Austria’s vaccine rollout has picked up speed. 

As at August 31st, 57 percent of people in Austria have now received both shots of the vaccine, which is in line with EU averages. 

While by no means the slowest, Austria’s vaccine rollout still trails some of the world’s leading countries, like the United States and the United Kingdom. 

More information about Austria’s vaccine rollout and how it compares to that of other countries can be found at the following link. 

COMPARE: Which countries are leading the race to vaccinate in Europe?

While around 13 percent of the Austrian population are fully vaccinated and will have received proof in Austria, what about those who were vaccinated abroad? 

Here’s what you need to know. 

How do I prove in Austria that I’ve been vaccinated abroad?

Fortunately for anyone who has been vaccinated abroad, this will be accepted in Austria – provided you have been vaccinated with a vaccine approved for use in Austria by the European Medicine Agency.

See below for which vaccines are currently approved in Austria. 

Simply provide the evidence of your vaccination to your doctor in Austria and this will be entered in your Austrian ‘e-vaccination card’. 

This will be done in the same way as if the vaccine was carried out by a different doctor, at a pharmacist or at a vaccination centre. 

The Vienna Medical Association notes that having a foreign vaccination entered into an Austrian vaccination pass may cost you a fee, as it is not covered by the state vaccination system. 

If I can’t get the green pass, what does this mean for my trip to Austria? 

Fortunately, Austria still runs on paper – meaning you can show your paper evidence of vaccination, recovery etc when visiting bars, events and restaurants in Austria. 

This includes paper evidence of vaccination from abroad, such as in the United Kingdom. 

Several readers have told us they have also been able to show their NHS app at certain venues, although this is not official government policy. 

While this must be an official document, it does not need to have a QR code to be valid. 

It needs to be either in German or in English in a latin script and must be produced on request from business owners or police. 

Both the UK and Israeli governments are currently working with the EU on getting their apps accepted in Austria. 

What if I have only had one shot? 

Even if you have not been fully vaccinated abroad, this will also be OK – i.e. even if you have had one dose abroad, this can be included in your vaccination passport. 

Once the proof of vaccination is in your e-card, proof can be printed out from the electronic vaccination card in pharmacies and used as evidence of your vaccination status. 

What are my other options? 

If you were vaccinated in another EU country, you could use the European-wide Green Pass. This went ahead in June. 

This can be downloaded as a QR code onto your mobile phone. This scheme hopes to unify the European vaccination framework. 

Which vaccines have been approved by the EMA? 

Approved vaccines as of August 31st include Moderna, Pfizer Biontech, Johnson & Johnson, and Astrazeneca. 

However, being vaccinated with Sputnik (Russia) or Sinopharm (China), which are already being used in European countries such as Serbia and Hungary, will not count as these are not authorised by the EMA, and not recognised by the Ministry of Health. 

Austria has purchased one million shots of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, although Austrian authorities will not administer the vaccine until it has been approved by the EMA

EMA trials with the vaccine are continuing. 

Member comments

  1. Fortunately for anyone who has been vaccinated abroad, this will be accepted in Austria – provided you have been vaccinated with a vaccine approved for use in Austria by the European Medicine Agency.

    See below for which vaccines are currently approved in Austria.

    Simply provide the evidence of your vaccination to your doctor in Austria and this will be entered in your Austrian ‘e-vaccination card’.

    I don’t have an Austrian doctor. I was vaccinated like most Americans in Germany on our various military bases. We were given standard CDC cards. We won’t be able to use green digital passes either because we don’t have German doctors. Most if not all American military and civilian personnel that wanted to be vaccinated have been vaccinated for months.

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COVID-19 VACCINES

Austria recommends Covid booster shot for children aged five and over

The commission also recommends three doses of the vaccine for people who have recovered from the coronavirus disease.

Austria recommends Covid booster shot for children aged five and over

Austria’s National Vaccination Board has recommended that children from the age of five get a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccination, the “booster” dose.

“This third vaccination should take place at the latest at the beginning of the school year ahead of the expected next waves of infection in autumn”, the board said in a press statement.

The third dose is recommended six months after the second shot, the commission added.

Additionally, the updated recommendation given by the government body also clarified that a total of three vaccinations are needed for “the best possible and long-term protection”, even among people who have already been infected with Covid-19.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: The latest coronavirus restrictions in Austria

The commission stated that “from an immunological point of view, these vaccinations are to be regarded as a basic vaccination”. This means that, in the future, the Covi-19 vaccination schedule will consider three doses of an approved vaccine.

According to the board statement, an infection with the coronavirus would only lead to a postponement of the vaccinations but shouldn’t replace any dose.

Austria’s Health Minister Johannes Rauch reinforced the need for vaccination in the country, which currently has fewer than 70 per cent of its population with two doses of the vaccine up to date.

“The corona vaccination has saved the lives of countless people and continues to do so. The ongoing adaptation of recommendations ensures that new scientific findings are constantly incorporated”, Rauch said in a press statement.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What are Austria’s plans to bring back the vaccine mandate?

The new recommendation can be found on Austria’s Health Ministry website. However, the ministry hasn’t specified how the recommendation would affect the Covid-19 passes or the “green pass” validity, especially those held by people who have recovered from the disease.

Covid numbers

Austria this Monday reported 4,111 new coronavirus infections, with 89,861 PCR tests taken in 24 hours. According to the Health Ministry, there are currently 1,492 people hospitalised with the virus (26 fewer than the day before), and 124 people are in intensive care units with Covid.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 18,054 people have died from the Covid-19.

The alpine country has currently 68.4 per cent of its population with a valid vaccination certificate, and 54.5 per cent of its population has received the third dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

READ ALSO: Austria to keep masks only in ‘essential places’ from April 16th

Austria has recently removed almost all of its coronavirus restrictions, including the need to show a valid vaccination certificate to enter bars and restaurants. The country also dropped its FFP2 mask mandate in all indoor areas except for “essential” places such as public transport, health areas, and supermarkets.

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