Despite vaccinations being only recommended for people aged 12 and over in Austria, there are no prohibitions against vaccinating people of any age.
Anyone carrying out a vaccination of a child must however carry out a careful risk-benefit analysis and inform parents about the exact risks.
Children younger than 14 are deemed not to be able to legally consent to vaccinations, while those aged 14 and over can in most cases.
While parents make the ultimate decision, children must also be informed of the basic procedure associated with vaccinations.
‘A black and white issue’
Viennese general practitioner Birgit Angel told Austria’s Kronen Zeitung that she has faced criticism for the decision from anti-vaccine groups, but she had also received praise from countless parents.
“I was confronted with insults and calls from vaccination opponents this morning,” reports the 53-year-old.
“On the other hand, I received a lot of encouragement from families all over Austria.”
Angel said that vaccination had become a considerably divisive issue in Austrian society.
“When it comes to vaccination, there is no gray area, only black or white.”
Trials are continuing into vaccinating children, with some experts believing that younger people need to be vaccinated in order to help Austria reach herd immunity.