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Reader question: Can I use a foreign vaccination certificate as proof 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
Say you had your coronavirus shots in another country. How can you show this - and will it be accepted in Austria?

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

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  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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