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COVID-19 VACCINES

EXPLAINED: How to claim your 100 euro vaccination bonus in Austria

Self-employed people in Austria can now claim a 100 Euro bonus if they are fully immunised against Covid and a number of other diseases. But what do they need to do to get their hands on the money?

A yellow vaccination booklet seen up close. Photo: JENS SCHLUETER / AFP
A yellow vaccination booklet seen up close. Photo: JENS SCHLUETER / AFP

Austria is giving all people insured with the SVS insurance system – people who fall under the Selbstständige (self-employed) and Landwirte (farmers) category – a hundred euro bonus if they can prove they are fully vaccinated.

The bonus can also be given to dependents insured with SVS under your cover (children, spouses and pensioners) if they also meet the requirements.

The offer is so far only valid for 2022 and the money is transferred directly to the insured person’s account.

You can apply for the bonus by filling in this online form as long as you have a Handy-Signatur or an ID-Austria set up. 

READ MORE: What is Austria’s Handy-Signatur and how does it work?

However the process is not as easy as merely inputting your Covid-19 vaccinations. A long list of other vaccinations must be proved, examples of which you can find here.

According to the website, you must give the following proof of being vaccinated or recovered from these diseases.

Children up to 15 years of age

  • Vaccinations against influenza, HPV.
  • Proof of a pneumococcal vaccination (this protects against pneumococcal disease, which is any type of illness caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria).
  • Date of the last FSME injection. This must be within the last five years. The FSME injection protects against tick-borne encephalitis.
  • Proof they have been given combination vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella as well as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis and haemophilus. 

People aged between 15 and 60

  • Date of the last MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and polio vaccination. (This should be within the last 10 years).
  • Date of the last FSME injection. 
  • Date of the last Covid-19 vaccination (this must be valid according to the current legal situation). 
  • Date of a Covid-19 recovery certificate (this must not be older than six months).

Adults over 60

  • Proof of a pneumococcal vaccination.
  • Date of the last FSME injection.
  • Date of the last Covid-19 vaccination (this must be valid according to the current legal situation). 
  • Date of a Covid-19 recovery certificate (this must not be older than six months).

Vaccinated abroad 

SVS told The Local that people vaccinated outside Austria could show their yellow Impfpass (international vaccination booklet) to prove if they had had the necessary jabs, or send any other proof or explanations to show they fulfil the requirements. 

When asked about people who were not vaccinated against common childhood diseases, but had achieved immunity by being infected, the advisor said it was possible to submit an Erklärung or declaration that a recovery had taken place. 

However, in some cases, Austrian media has reported that people have not been given the bonus due to missing a childhood vaccination.

For example, the Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper reported a 51-year-old self-employed woman from Flachau initially missed out on the bonus because she did not have a childhood measles vaccination.

Healthy lifestyle means fewer deductibles

The campaign is part of a health incentive programme in place by the SVS. Under another preventative health initiative it is also possible for self-employed people in Austria to halve their deductibles from 20 to ten percent if they achieve their health goals, such as stopping smoking.

The deduction can be halved  again to five percent if they pursue their health goals sustainably.

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COVID-19 ALERT

EXPLAINED: How Austria’s compulsory vaccine mandate could be back in June

The much-debated policy sparked controversy since before it was approved in February, meaning that May could be a definitive month in the country.

EXPLAINED: How Austria's compulsory vaccine mandate could be back in June

Austria’s Federal Government has a ticking time bomb on its hands: an ordinance that suspended its vaccine mandate law is set to expire by the end of May, which means that the controversial mandatory vaccination would be again in place as early as June 1st.

In order to keep that from happening, Austria’s Health Ministry needs to extend the current regulation or create a new one.

If it doesn’t, the Covid-19 mandatory vaccination law would automatically be back in June.

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

Since, by June, the vaccine mandate stated that non-vaccinated would start getting fines, the resumption of the law would mean that, from next month, those who are not vaccinated could be fined in routine checks, such as traffic checks.

The ins and outs of the vaccine mandate

The law was first introduced in February, even though the technical requirements for it to be enacted were not in place. The first stage of it was purely “informational”, and Austrian residents received letters explaining about vaccines and about the regulation.

A second stage, when people could have been fined if they were not vaccinated, was set to start in mid-March. Before a single person was fined, though, Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens) suspended the law with an ordinance.

The law was suspended for a variety of reasons, primarily due to the relatively high vaccination coverage the country had already received, along with the lower virulence of the Omicron variant. 

READ ALSO: Austria to scrap mandatory Covid vaccinations

To create a new regulation or extend the existing one stopping people from being fined, Rauch must await the report of the vaccination commission, which should be ready in May, according to the Ministry.

The coronavirus commission will assess whether the Vaccination Act is suitable and useful from a medical and legal point of view. A previous report said there were arguments for and against mandatory vaccination for those who were completely unvaccinated.

READ ALSO: How Austria’s attempt to make vaccines mandatory changed the country

Der Standard reports there is little political support for compulsory vaccination and says there are still technical problems regarding automated fines. However, according to the Ministry of Health, the infrastructure should be completed in June.

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