UPDATED: What Austria’s ‘vaccine expiry date’ means for travellers

Vaccines will now be deemed effective in Austria only for one year after the final jab. Previously they 'expired' after 270 days.

UPDATED: What Austria’s ‘vaccine expiry date’ means for travellers

One aspect of the science which is as yet unclear about Covid vaccines is how long the immunity lasts. 

While each of the vaccines that is being administered in Austria has been shown to be highly effective against both the original incarnation of the virus and subsequent mutations, experts are uncertain as to the duration of immunity – primarily because not enough time has passed to see just how long the antibodies last. 

UPDATED: What are the rules for entering Austria right now?

Austria has taken a relatively novel approach with regard to immunity from both vaccines and recovery. 

Initially, visitors to the Alpine state were deemed to have protection for 270 days after the second shot – or for 270 days after your only shot in the case of the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine. 

The same went for people who live in Austria and using the 3G system to access pubs, bars, events, hairdressers and everywhere else Austria’s green pass is required.

The duration of the vaccine  will now be set to 365 days in Austria, which is more in line with other countries, 

Immunity: How long are vaccinations valid for in Austria?

What does this mean for travellers? 

If you were one of the first to get vaccinated, your vaccination will no longer expire in 2021, according to the Austrian authorities. 

However, if you were fully vaccinated in January, your immunity might be deemed to expire in January 2023.


While Austria is in the process of administering booster shots in some states, these so far are targeted primarily at people in certain categories. For example, from mid-September, all people aged 65 and over, risk and high-risk patients as well as those who have received AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson as a primary vaccination, will be able to receive a booster jab in Lower Austria

UPDATE: Austria to roll out Covid booster shots in autumn

The Austrian government has not indicated whether it will extend booster shots to all the general population – around 60 percent of which is fully vaccinated (5.2 million).

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Delays and cancellations: What is happening with Austrian Airlines flights?

Passengers who have booked a flight for Tuesday or Wednesday with Austrian Airlines are facing delays, rebookings and flight cancellations. What is happening, and what are your rights?

Delays and cancellations: What is happening with Austrian Airlines flights?

Passengers with early flights on Tuesday, March 7th, already had to reschedule or cancel their trips if they were with Austrian carrier and Lufthansa subsidiary, Austrian Airlines (AUA), as The Local reported. And the disruption is set to continue during the day and on March 8th.

A staff meeting with flight crews, which was called after shelved collective bargaining negotiations on inflation compensation, was the reason why flights were affected in the early morning. Workers met at Vienna International Airport in Schwechat on Tuesday and the airline had to cancel 34 flights to 17 destinations.

Warning strike announced

However, during the union members meeting, participants decided on a warning strike lasting until 2:30 pm, which will affect flights for the entire day on March 7th and early on March 8th. 

At the staff gathering, it was unanimously decided that the meeting would turn into a warning strike, Yvonne Heuber of the Vida trade union told APA.

The company has not announced the detailed impacts of the strike yet. However, passengers can check on the company website for the status of their flights – as well as checking airport sites. In the Vienna International Airport, several AUA flights already show as cancelled, including some on the morning of March 8th.

Around 1,700 passengers were already rebooked on replacement flights. According to the airline, those who booked directly with it were contacted proactively, while passengers who booked with a travel agency should contact the agencies.

READ ALSO: What you need to know before travelling to Austria in spring 2023

To minimise the impact, among other things, employees on “standby” have been called to duty, the AUA press office said. “Austrian Airlines long-haul destinations can be served regularly according to the current status,” the airline announced.

What are my rights if my flight gets cancelled or delayed?

In case of cancellation, you can choose between getting your money back, getting the next available flight, or changing the booking completely for a later date. You are also entitled to assistance free of charge, including refreshments, food, accommodation (if you are rebooked to travel the next day), transport, and communication (two telephone calls, for example).

This is regardless of the reasons for cancellation.

If your flight was delayed, your rights and compensation would depend on the duration of the delay and the flight distance.

You can read more about your rights HERE.

READ ALSO: Train travel in Austria: 6 ways you can save money

Why are workers on strike?

Workers’ representatives informed Austrian Airlines staff that the renegotiations on the collective agreement (KV), the sector deals between unions and company representatives that rule over salary and benefits in Austria, have stalled. 

Staff had demanded a renegotiation of the KV after Austrian Airlines posted good results in the third quarter of 2022 at the same time as inflation continued to rise. 

The workers haven’t ruled out further strikes in the near future.