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COVID-19 VACCINES

How to get Austria’s green pass without a ‘Handysignature’ in Vienna

People have reported issues getting a 'Handysignature', which is a prerequisite for Austria's Covid-19 health pass in the city of Vienna. Here's how to get the pass without it.

How to get Austria's green pass without a 'Handysignature' in Vienna
Photo: Soeren Stache / POOL / AFP

It is now possible to obtain your Covid-19 health pass – otherwise known as an immunity pass or a green pass – without a Handysignature (mobile phone signature) in Vienna.

Prior to this, people had been advised to visit www.gesundheit.gv.at once they had been fully vaccinated, tested negative or had evidence they’d recovered from the virus in order to get the green pass. 

According to the advice, people could activate their citizen card or mobile phone signature by visiting FinanzOnline at this link and selecting ‘Bürgerkarte/Handy-Signatur aktivieren’ (activate citizen card/mobile phone signature). 

As a consequence, you are set to receive a letter of approval in the mail in the coming days. 

What if you cannot get a Handysignature? 

Some readers have told us they have had issues getting a Handysignature as they do not have Austrian phone numbers.

The platform appears unable to send out Handysignatures unless the phone has a +43 prefix as an Austrian number. 

The City of Vienna has sent out a communication which says anyone using the city’s Homecare app – which was originally developed to monitor testing and quarantine – can use it instead of a Handysignature. 

If you have been tested, vaccinated or received documentary evidence of your recovery in Vienna, you will be able to access the app with your 12-digit pin. 

Recovered and vaccinated persons should be automatically notified by SMS once their vaccination certificate is available.

You can then use the link from the SMS and your 12-digit PIN to call up the vaccination certificate. In selected testing centres, proof of recovery and proof of vaccination can be picked up as printouts.

More information is available at the following link

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COVID-19 VACCINES

Reader question: When should I get a fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in Austria?

Austria's national vaccination board changed the recommendations for when to get the fourth dose of coronavirus vaccines. Here's what you need to know.

Reader question: When should I get a fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in Austria?

Over this weekend, Austria’s national vaccination board (NIG) released an updated recommendation on Covid-19 immunisation, changing its previous guidance for the fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccination slightly.

According to the NIG, booster vaccinations can be given to persons aged 12 years and older and are recommended for anyone who wants to protect themselves.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How to get the new adapted Covid-19 vaccine in Austria

In particular, the 4th vaccination is advised for persons over 60 years of age, persons at risk of severe disease progression (including pregnant women) and persons with an increased risk of exposure (healthcare workers, people in long-term nursing or care facilities, etc.).

The recommended interval between the third and fourth doses is from six months for people between 12 and 59 years old, NIG said. For those over 60 or risk patients, that interval is from 4 months.

What has changed then?

The main difference is the recommendation for those who have had a Covid-19 infection after their third shot.

“An infection in vaccinated persons usually leads to a booster effect (hybrid immunity), which can affect the optimal timing of the next vaccination.”, NIG said.

However, the board specified that infection could only be “counted” after it was confirmed with a PCR test.

READ ALSO: Austria announces new Covid-19 vaccination campaign

So, if you have had a PCR-confirmed infection after your second or third shot and it was an asymptomatic case, you may follow the regular vaccination scheme. However, you can also postpone your vaccination for up to six months.

If you had a symptomatic case, you may postpone your next dose for up to six months only if you are younger than 60 and not of a risk group.

NIG said: “Persons vaccinated three times who have also had a proven omicron infection show a good booster response and cross-immunity”.

READ ALSO: From inflation to Covid: What to expect from Austria’s winter season

It added: In such cases, especially in persons under 60 years of age, the 4th vaccination within a period of up to 6 months does not achieve any further improvement in immune protection and thus, the 4th vaccination can be postponed accordingly.

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