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

The new adapted Covid-19 vaccine has arrived in Austria. Here's everything you need to know about what it is and how to get it.

EXPLAINED: How to get the new adapted Covid-19 vaccine in Austria
The new adapted Covid-19 vaccine will be available in Austria from Friday. (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)

What is the new vaccine?

The latest delivery by BioNTech/Pfizer is an adapted Covid-19 vaccine that has been designed to offer better protection against the Omicron variant of the virus.

It is a bivalent vaccine, which means half of it is directed towards the original strain of Covid-19, and the other half is directed at BA.4 and BA.5 (the current dominant strains of Omicron).

READ MORE: Austria recommends 4th Covid vaccine dose for everyone over 12

The roll-out of the new vaccine will be used for booster shots (third and fourth dose), not initial vaccinations.

There are currently 775,000 doses of the adapted vaccine in Austria, with more deliveries coming soon. Moderna has also developed a bivalent Covid-19 vaccine, which is expected to be delivered to Austria in the next few weeks.

The adapted vaccine has full approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

When is it available?

The new vaccine will be automatically used for all booster shots in Austria from Friday September 16th.

However, a spokesman for Federal Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens) told Der Standard that anyone receiving a booster next week should double check that they are getting the new adapted vaccine.

The spokesperson specifically said it could take a few days for the new process to be rolled out at small vaccination centres or in rural areas.

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Who should get it?

The adapted Covid-19 vaccine will be available for everyone, from high risk groups to healthy young people. There is no prioritisation for this roll-out.

For some people though, receiving the adapted vaccine will actually be their first booster (third shot) after they missed the third dose due to infection and then waiting for the new vaccine.

How to make an appointment

In Vienna, anyone can book a vaccination appointment online at or by calling 1450. The website even has a vaccine calculator tool to find out the best time to get the next shot.

Nationally, information about making a vaccination appointment can be found at The portal then redirects to individual state healthcare websites with details about vaccination locations.

Alternatively, you can contact your doctor (Hausarzt) to find out more about making an appointment.

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

Is it worth getting the fourth dose?

The National Vaccination Committee (NIG) has advised everyone over the age of 12 to get a fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, six months after the third dose.

Herwig Kollaritsch, Infectiologist and member of the NIG, recently told Der Standard that the fourth dose – known as the fourth stitch in Austria – is highly recommended because many people received the third dose more than nine months ago.

However, Kollaritsch did say: “In order to prevent severe courses, young people would not necessarily need the fourth vaccination.”

There are also uncertainties surrounding when someone should get the fourth dose after being infected with the virus. Although many virologists recommend getting the booster as soon as possible.

Anyone with questions about the Covid-19 vaccination can call the Coronavirus Infoline on 0800 555 621. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Find out more about Covid-19 and the vaccine at

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What to know about Austria’s new advice on Covid vaccines

As the coronavirus pandemic progressed, each country developed its own vaccination recommendation, which often changed. Here is the new advice from the Austrian vaccination panel.

What to know about Austria's new advice on Covid vaccines

The Austrian National Vaccination Panel has updated its recommendations on Covid vaccination on several points, the Ministry of Health announced.

“Special attention continues to be paid to the completion of the basic immunisation, which is recommended for all persons five years of age and older, and to the booster vaccination,” according to the Ministry of Health.

The booster shot is generally available to all persons 12 years of age and older and is free of charge, but it is especially recommended for persons 60 years of age and older and those at risk.

READ ALSO: Masks against Covid and flu: What’s ahead for Austria this winter

In Austria, the basic immunisation against Covid-19 consists of three vaccine doses. A fourth dose, also known as a booster shot, is also recommended.

What is new in the recommendation?

Austria is adding a new coronavirus vaccine, from Sanofi (VidPrevtyn Beta), to the list of offers against the virus. The new vaccine is protein-based and has already been approved by the European authorities. 

In Austria, the Sanofi vaccine can be used from the third vaccination onwards on people older than 18. The offer will be available at the vaccination sites in the coming week at the earliest, according to the Ministry. 

READ ALSO: Colds and flu: What to do and say if you get sick in Austria

Another change is that the variant Comirnaty Original/Omicron BA.4-5 from BioNTech/Pfizer will also be used for the third vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 years. 

This vaccine is specially adapted to the virus variants Omicron BA.4 and 5. It is now available for children in a special application shot that should be in vaccination sites starting next week at the earliest. 

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Also included in the recommendations is a clarification specifically on an additional booster vaccination (fifth vaccination). 

People at risk from the age of 18, and those from the age of 60 can receive the additional booster vaccination four months after the fourth vaccination. According to the vaccination panel, no fifth vaccination is necessary for healthy people under 60.