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Reader question: How can people who cannot be vaccinated get Austria’s Covid green pass?

Reader question: How can people who cannot be vaccinated get Austria’s Covid green pass?
An example of a coronavirus vaccination passport. Photo by Lukas on Unsplash
If you are unable to get vaccinated for medical reasons, how can you get Austria’s green pass?

One of the major arguments put forward in favour of vaccination is that it protects others who are unable to be vaccinated. 

Indeed, the very concept of herd immunity describes a situation where an unvaccinated minority of the population is protected by the majority who are vaccinated. 

However, how common are medical conditions that prevent vaccination – and how do you get the green pass if you can’t get vaccinated in Austria? 

Please note that people who currently have Covid or those under 12 years of age should not be vaccinated (in addition to the below). 

What do Austrian authorities say about medical conditions to not be vaccinated? 

Medical conditions which would prevent vaccination or increase the risk of an adverse health reaction include immune conditions and allergies. 

The Austrian government writes that studies so far have not shown that people with autoimmune diseases or impaired immune systems should not have the jab. 

“So far, vaccines against Covid-19 have only been partially studied in people with autoimmune diseases or impaired immune systems due to diseases and / or medication… (however) they (vaccines) do not pose any risk to the vaccinated person even with immunosuppression.”

“Whether vaccination is recommended for people with autoimmune diseases or other impairments of the immune system should therefore be clarified individually with the treating doctor.”

Therefore, such conditions are likely to be incredibly rare in Austria. 

The same goes for allergies against vaccination.

One of the advantage of having approved four vaccines to be administered against Covid-19 is that Austrians have multiple options should they have concerns about allergies. 

For instance, when a person may be vulnerable to allergies against an mRNA vaccine, they may be able to have one of the available vector vaccines instead. 

Countries like neighbouring Switzerland – where only mRNA vaccines are administered – have begun to recognise this problem, with the government now deciding to roll out the Johnson and Johnson jab for people suffering from allergies nine months after the first inoculations took place. 

READ MORE: Switzerland prepares to roll out Johnson and Johnson vaccine

Once again, Austrian authorities encourage anyone with concerns about allergies to speak with their doctor before getting vaccinated. 

How can I get the green pass without a vaccination? 

Austria’s green pass has three categories, reflecting the country’s 3G rule. In addition to fully vaccinated people, those who have caught the virus and recovered in the past six months – along with those who have tested negative – can get the pass. 

‘3G Rule’: How to prove you have been vaccinated, tested or recovered from Covid in Austria

While getting the virus might not be the wisest course of action – particularly for people with immune issues – a negative test will allow you to have a valid green pass. 

Unfortunately, you will need to get tested regularly, as the valid status only lasts for a maximum of 72 hours. 


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