What is diphtheria?

Diphtheria is a contagious disease in the upper airway (neck, throat, nose). A thick coating is formed which leads to coughing and hoarseness and makes breathing difficult. The bacteria responsible produce a toxin, which can damage vital organs. Inflammation of the cardiac muscle and nerve paralysis can lead to heart failure and respiratory paralysis and even death.

Treatment involves an antidote and antibiotics. Among 20 people suffering from diphtheria today, 1 to 4 will die.

Diphtheria is passed on from one person to the next through droplet transmission, through coughs and sneezes for example. It takes 2 to 5 days from the time of infection until signs of the illness start to appear.

There continues to be instances of diphtheria in Africa, South America, Asia, Albania and a number of successor states of the Soviet Union. In Austria, every diphtheria case must be reported!

Vaccination advice for children

The diphtheria vaccination is part of the free child vaccination programme in Austria. The vaccination is part of a 6-part vaccination with pertussis, tetanus, haemophilus influenzae, poliomyelitis and hepatitis B.

Vaccination schedule

1. Vaccination: At 3 months
2. Vaccination: At 5 months
3. Vaccination: Between 12 – 14 months
4. Vaccination*: Between 7 – 9 years

*As a 4-part vaccination with tetanus, pertussis and polio

Vaccination advice for adults

The booster vaccination is best administered as a combination vaccine, which simultaneously protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and potentially polio.

• alle 10 Jahre (Personen bis 60 Jahre)
• alle 5 Jahre (Personen ab 60 Jahre)

Was your last vaccination more than 20 years ago? Then the vaccination following the booster vaccination should be checked by means of a blood test or else a second vaccination should be administered following a period of 4-8 weeks.

In the absence of basic immunisation: 2 vaccinations with an interval of 1 to 2 months, third vaccination 6 to 12 months after the second vaccination.

The rate of protection is almost 100%.

Information and consulting service

Have you never had a diphtheria vaccination? Or not had a vaccination in a long time? Having trouble finding your vaccination pass?

We would be happy to help you decide which vaccinations are best for you!
Book an appointment online or make an appointment on the phone with the City of Vienna vaccination service: Tel. +43 1 – 1450