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Information in English

Coronavirus

COVID-19 Vaccination

Entering Austria

Online Pre-Travel-Clearance is mandatory!

When entering Austria from abroad in most of the cases an online Pre-Travel-Clearance is mandatory.

Further information:

Pre-Travel Clearance form:

Appendices to the amendment of the COVID-19 Entry Regulation 2021, valid from 3 August 2021

FAQ COVID-19 Vaccination

FAQ General Information
All persons who are resident in Austria can also receive a coronavirus vaccination free of charge in Austria and thus be vaccinated against COVID-19. This also applies to persons who have no Austrian social security number. The national COVID-19 vaccination schedule (PDF, 123 KB) (PDF, 123 KB) regulates the order in which all persons willing to be vaccinated in Austria are vaccinated. The organisation as well as implementation of the vaccinations is carried out by the Federal States (Bundesländer). The coronavirus vaccination is voluntary.

Registration for the coronavirus vaccination is via the registration platforms of the respective Federal States (Bundesländer): Coronavirus Vaccination – Register Now! (sozialministerium.at)

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The vaccine Comirnaty from the manufacturer BioNTech/Pfizer is administered according to the product information in two partial vaccinations at an interval of 21 days with a possible interval of (19 to 42 days).

The vaccine Spikevax from the manufacturer Moderna is administered according to the product information in two partial vaccinations at an interval of 28 days with a possible interval of 21 to 42 days.

The vaccine Vaxzevria from the manufacturer AstraZeneca is administered in two partial vaccinations; the National Vaccination Committee (NIG) recommends an interval of four to eight weeks between vaccine doses due to the current situation in connection with the Delta variant.

The vaccine COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen from the manufacturer Johnson&Johnson (Janssen) is administered as a single vaccination.

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The duration of protection after a coronavirus vaccination is not yet conclusively known for any approved vaccine, but according to current data, protection of at least 9 months can be assumed (calculated from the 2nd dose or, in the case of the vaccine from Johnson&Johnson (Janssen), from the 1st dose / single dose). For this reason it is not yet known if, or when, boosters will be necessary. Appropriate recommendations will be made based on the results of further studies.

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According to current scientific knowledge, the coronavirus vaccination provides so-called individual protection. On a personal level, vaccination means minimising the risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 and becoming severely ill or even dying from COVID-19. If, in exceptional cases, COVID-19 disease occurs despite vaccination, the course of the disease is much milder and complications and deaths are avoided.

In addition, data from the use of COVID-19 vaccines indicate that vaccinated individuals have a lower viral load and significantly reduced viral shedding, meaning they are less infectious than unvaccinated individuals.

More detailed information can be found in the Specialist Information section in "COVID-19 Vaccinations: Application Recommendations of the National Vaccination Committee".

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According to the current state of knowledge, the coronavirus vaccination definitely provides individual protection. There is also increasing evidence from the use of COVID-19 vaccines that vaccinated individuals have a lower viral load and reduced viral shedding, and are thus less infectious than unvaccinated individuals. This effect cannot yet be definitively determined (is not yet quantifiable), and is also likely to depend on the specific vaccine and the infecting SARS-CoV-2 variant.

In contrast, individuals who have experienced symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection may also become re-infected, but in such cases it is again assumed that these individuals do not have a significant role in disease transmission. This was taken into account within the context of contact person management in cases of contact with a person who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. If vaccinated individuals have close contact with an individual who has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, these can be considered Category II contact persons (from the 22nd day after the first dose until 6 months after the 2nd dose).

The protective measures in force in each case, such as the compulsory wearing of a face mask and distancing and hygiene regulations, must be complied with until a sufficient number of people have received a coronavirus vaccination.

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FAQ Vaccinating special groups of persons
The decision on the use of a coronavirus vaccination should always be made in consultation with the attending doctor while taking into account the individual risk and disease situation.
Especially in the case of vaccinations of persons with underlying diseases, an individual decision must be made according to the specific case. Please consult your attending doctor prior to your vaccination appointment to discuss issues such as pre-existing or underlying medical conditions, any medications you are taking, possible risk factors and other medical issues. Your doctor can also advise you on rare cases in which a coronavirus vaccine is not recommended.

Individuals with known allergies, e.g. allergies to aeroallergens such as pollen or house dust, can and should be vaccinated against COVID-19. Any allergies will be discussed in your clarifying consultation with the attending doctor. Allergy passports should therefore be brought to the vaccination appointment, as these contain information on possible allergens. After the coronavirus vaccination, allergy sufferers are advised to wait at least 30 minutes at the vaccination site under medical supervision. If an allergic shock (anaphylaxis) ever occurred after a vaccination in the past, you must tell the doctor before the coronavirus vaccination.

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So far and without exception, no abnormalities have been detected with experiences in the use of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant women. Data specifically on mRNA vaccines has now been published, which is why mRNA vaccines should be favoured when vaccinating pregnant women. Pregnant women are at high risk for severe disease progression of COVID-19. Accordingly, and after a careful individual benefit-risk evaluation, vaccination against COVID-19 with an mRNA vaccine can be administered to pregnant women. For the benefit-risk evaluation, reference is made to the current version of the Recommendations of the Austrian Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. This is an off label use which should be referred to in a documented manner. Postponing the vaccination to the 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy as a precautionary measure is indicated to counter theoretical concerns. A routine pregnancy test is not necessary before vaccination. In the case of a pregnancy occurring around the period of a vaccination, this does not result in an indication for abortion. The pregnancy is also not classified as a risk pregnancy.

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Individuals who are ill with an acute infection should only be vaccinated against COVID-19 when they have completely regained their health and have recovered.

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According to the original assessment for infection with variants that have circulated so far, protection was expected for 6-8 months. Due to the current epidemiological situation with an increasing proportion of delta variants and possibly new and more infectious variants, the recommendation is adapted as follows: After a SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by laboratory diagnostics (detection by a PCR test), vaccination is recommended from approx. 4 weeks following infection or illness (after recovery), in order to also ensure currently best possible protection against the delta variant. In persons in whom an infection has been confirmed by PCR or neutralising antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 (neutralisation tests/corresponding NT correlates), a single vaccination is sufficient (off label), even if the infection occurred more than 8 months ago. Immunologically, this is equivalent to a booster. Corresponding studies show that these persons need only one vaccination to achieve comparable protection to non-infected, regularly vaccinated persons according to the regular vaccination schedule.
Regardless of the medical/immunological assessment, two doses may be required for entry into a country when travelling internationally. In such cases, a 2nd dose can and should be given for official reasons, which is also in accordance with the marketing authorisation, and must not be withheld. If vaccination is administered twice, an increased rate of reactions to vaccination in convalescents cannot be ruled out.
If a laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (PCR test) occurs in the interval between the 1st dose and 2nd dose, the 2nd dose is recommended from approximately 4 weeks after the infection or illness (following recovery) (off label).

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FAQ Vaccinations for children and adolescents

The vaccines Comirnaty from the company Pfizer/BioNTech and Spikevax from the company Moderna were approved, after efficacy and safety testing, at the end of May 2021 and on 23 July 2021 respectively by the European authorities for use in children aged 12 years and older. Approval studies of both vaccines in children and adolescents aged 12 years and older have shown the vaccines to be safe and highly effective in the prevention of symptomatic, laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 disease in children and adolescents aged 12 years and older.  

In Austria, vaccination is recommended in the 12-15 age group according to the prioritisation list of the National Vaccination Committee (NIG). Vaccination is recommended in Austria in the 12-15 age group according to the National Vaccination Committee (NIG) prioritisation list. This means that high-risk children for example can and should be immediately vaccinated because they have a high risk of contracting severe COVID-19. Children and adolescents aged 12 years and older without high-risk factors should be vaccinated if adults have had the appropriate vaccination opportunities.

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Based on current knowledge, the approved COVID-19 vaccines provide individual protection. High vaccination participation within the population will significantly reduce the disease burden, prevent severe cases and deaths, and reduce the burden on the health care system. After a vaccination, the likelihood that a vaccinated person will infect others in their circle of friends or family is significantly reduced. This protects (still) unvaccinated persons and persons who do not develop an immune response after vaccination from contracting COVID-19 disease.

Although children and adolescents rarely contract severe COVID-19 compared to adults, severe courses of the disease such as multisystem inflammatory syndrome, which often requires treatment in intensive care, have also been reported in Austria with a frequency of 1:500 to 1:1000 infected children and adolescents. There is increasing evidence that children and adolescents can also suffer in the long term from the consequences of COVID-19 disease ("long COVID") following mild and asymptomatic courses of the disease. Vaccination protects from falling ill and from potentially severe consequences of the illness. In addition, it must be considered that children may not only become ill themselves but can also contribute to the general incidence of infection.

COVID-19 Vaxzevria from AstraZeneca, Spikevax from Moderna and COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen are not currently approved for persons under 18 years of age.

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Yes. Approval studies of the Comirnaty and Spikevax mRNA vaccines in children and adolescents of 12 years of age and older have shown the vaccines to be safe and highly effective in the prevention of symptomatic, laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 disease in children and adolescents from 12 years of age.  

As with adults, people in this age group may have expected bodily reactions to the vaccine after a COVID-19 vaccination, which usually go away on their own within a few days. Local and systemic reactions in 12 to 15-year olds were similar to those reported in persons aged 16 years and older: redness, swelling, a warming of the skin or pain may occur at the injection site (usually on the upper arm). General complaints such as headache, weariness, fever etc. may also occur. All of these symptoms indicate the body's normal reaction to the vaccine, which leads to the protective effect. However, the reactions described are much less harmful than the symptoms and possible consequential damages of the disease, which can be prevented by the vaccination! If exhaustion or fever occur up to three weeks after vaccination, physical exertion should be avoided. The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, after examining the application for marketing authorisation, concluded that the benefit of vaccination also outweighs the risk in this age group.

The safety and efficacy of vaccination in children and adults will continue to be closely monitored, not only within the framework of the European pharmacovigilance system, but also globally. Up to the end of June the vaccine has been used several million times in this age group in the U.S. and Canada, and there is also no evidence of safety concerns within this broad use. Vaccination is therefore recommended in Austria in the 12-15 age group according to the prioritisation list of the National Vaccination Committee (NIG).

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FAQ Reactions to vaccination and side effects

After the coronavirus vaccination, the body may have expected reactions to the vaccine, which however usually stop by themselves within a few days. These symptoms indicate the body's normal exposure to the vaccine, which leads to the protective effect. However, these reactions are more harmless than the possible symptoms and future consequences of the disease, which can be prevented by the vaccination!

If a health-relevant event or permanent health impairment occurs near in time with a coronavirus vaccination, an application for the recognition of vaccination damage can be filed. If a correlation is recognised, social security assistance is available in the form of a one-off payment or regular benefit payments.

Please monitor your state of health, as you do after other vaccinations or the taking of medication. If you have any side effects that last more than three days after the vaccination or are new (e.g. dizziness, severe and persistent headache, visual disturbances, nausea/vomiting, shortness of breath, acute pain in the chest, abdomen, arms or legs, swelling of the legs or small blood spots under the skin), contact your doctor, who should carry out a medical diagnosis to clarify thromboembolic events (blood clots)/thrombopenia (reduction of blood platelets). Important investigations for newly occurring symptoms are:

  • Blood count with determination of the platelet count,
  • Blood smear, D-dimers and, if necessary, further imaging diagnostics (e.g. cMRI, ultrasound, CT of the thorax/abdomen).

For the further medical procedure, you can find information in the current statement of the Society for Thrombosis and Hemostasis Research.

Yes. Known reactions often occur after the coronavirus vaccination, but they usually subside on their own within a few days. Pain, redness and swelling may very frequently occur at the injection site. Symptoms such as tiredness, headache, muscle or joint pain, swelling of the lymph nodes, nausea/vomiting, shivering or fever are also experienced very frequently. Very frequent means that more than one in ten vaccinated persons are affected. The doctor responsible for you or you yourself can report any suspected adverse reactions via nebenwirkung.basg.gv.at  Further information on reporting suspected adverse reactions is available at http://www.basg.gv.at/marktbeobachtung/meldewesen/nebenwirkungen

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FAQ Effectiveness

The coronavirus vaccination is currently the most effective protection against COVID-19 and severe COVID-19 disease, which can be fatal in worst cases. It is to be expected that deaths also occur close in time to the coronavirus vaccination, but these deaths have nothing to do with the coronavirus vaccination that was previously administered. Especially when vaccinating elderly persons or members of high-risk groups who generally have a higher risk of mortality, it is possible that a death occurs coincidentally shortly after the coronavirus vaccination, without there being a causal connection with the vaccination. This requires close examination on a case-by-case basis before jumping to conclusions about the effect of the vaccines.

Yes. Each approved vaccine is effective, extensively tested, and well suited to prevent severe courses of disease and deaths. In the discussion about 'percentages of protection', it should be considered that there is no vaccination that guarantees 100% protection.

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