Today in Austria For Members

Today in Austria: A round-up of the latest news on Thursday

Aaron Burnett
Aaron Burnett - [email protected]
Today in Austria: A round-up of the latest news on Thursday
Tick-borne diseases are endemic in Austria, which is why federal states are encouraging vaccination. Photo by Erik Karits / Unsplash

Changes to the Mutter-Kind-Pass for pregnant people in Austria, the country starts up its tick vaccine campaign, and the EU slams Austria for being too reliant on Russian gas. Here’s your news round-up for Thursday.


How the Mutter-Kind-Pass is changing

The Austrian government has approved changes to the country’s “Mother-Child-Pass” to take effect at the beginning of 2024. The pass stores all medical information about the pregnancy and child and is required to receive certain social benefits. All expectant mothers in Austria are issued one – typically a yellow booklet – and it records both tests done during pregnancy and health check-ups for the child up to age five.

For starters, it’ll be renamed the Eltern-Kind-Pass or “Parent-Child-Pass.” With the original version introduced in 1974, the updated pass will eventually be digital, and offer a range of new benefits – all to be phased in until 2026.

These are slated to include early health consultations during pregnancy, additional screenings for newborns, and nutritional counseling for breastfeeding mothers.

READ ALSO: Austria approves changes to the mandatory ‘family passport’ Mutter-Kind-Pass

Tick vaccine rollout

Austrian federal states are kicking off their vaccination drives against FSME, an encephalitis found in ticks.

As tick season begins, health authorities around the country advise that tick-borne diseases are highly endemic to Austria and can cause serious diseases. The reason why there aren’t more serious cases is generally due to the high vaccination rates in the country.

The vaccine is available in pharmacies, albeit at a small cost. Some family physicians also administer it for free.


READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What is Austria’s ‘tick vaccine’ and should you take it?

Austria still highly dependent on Russian gas

The European Union has highlighted Austria for continuing to have a high dependence on Russian gas imports – more than a year after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

As part of its annual European Semester review of EU members, the European Commission noted that Austria still faced “major challenges” to its energy security, even after it set up a strategic gas reserve.

At the start of Russia’s invasion in 2022, Austria was importing 80 percent of its gas from Russia. The country has since reduced this share to 57 percent. However, neighbouring Germany, for example, has reduced this same number to zero.


“Even after more than a year of war, we are Putin’s best customer and can be blackmailed mercilessly,” said Austrian MEP Claudia Gamon, from the liberal NEOS party.

The EU is recommending that Austria speed up its renewable energy sector with simpler approval procedures for projects and better energy efficiency.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Why isn’t Austria in NATO?

Thursday’s weather

Most of the country – including Vienna, Graz, Linz, and Salzburg – on Thursday is slated for a partly cloudy May day with temperatures ranging from a low of 12 C to highs of 24 C.

The big exception to this is Innsbruck and the Tyrol region, which has about a 75 percent chance of seeing some rain in the early evening.

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