Vienna health boss Peter Hacker announced on Wednesday that the compulsory Covid-19 vaccination rules would be expanded in the city-state.
In addition to workers in the healthcare profession – for whom vaccination is already required – those working in social care will also need to be vaccinated.
Vaccinations are only required for new hires – i.e. not for those who were already working in the job when the vaccines were rolled out.
In addition to healthcare workers, all facilities for homeless people along with retirement and nursing homes will need to ensure new workers are vaccinated.
“The same now applies to the religious hospitals. The social institutions in Vienna will follow in the next few days,” Hacker told Vienna Heute.
Everyone within the industry must be vaccinated, i.e. not just those who have direct contact with patients. Therefore, administrative staff also need to get the jab.
Hacker said the compulsory vaccination rules were necessary in the health and social sectors as “these are the facilities at the most risk in the event of a pandemic”.
Hacker indicated that the spread of the Delta variant had forced the government’s hand.
Currently, the vaccination rates in the health and social care professions are between 80 and 90 percent.
Hacker also said a further expansion of compulsory vaccination could be expanded to other professions such as hospitality and gastronomy, however nothing was being planned at this stage.
History of compulsory vaccination for certain professions in Vienna
While the Covid-19 vaccine has just been rolled out, an obligation to be vaccinated is nothing new in Vienna.
Since 2017, Vienna Health Association staff have been required to be vaccinated for certain infectious diseases, including diphtheria, measles, tetanus, mumps, rubella and hepatitis B.
Covid-19 was placed on the list on May 27th.
Hacker said he hoped that 80 percent of the Vienna population would be vaccinated by the end of September, 2021.