Mandatory vaccinations required by law

Baby getting mandatory vaccinations
Image by I am expat

There are mandatory vaccinations for babies, children, and adults living in Croatia. There are additional vaccinations that are required in certain situations, like if you’ve been bitten by a rabid animal or are planning travel to specific countries with return to Croatia.

This vaccination obligation applies to all persons living in the Republic of Croatia, regardless of their insurance status and citizenship. Mandatory vaccinations are free of charge for all persons covered by this obligation, whether or not they have health insurance or are Croatian citizens.

There are also optional vaccinations that are offered. You can get more information including pricing on these services here.

COVID19: Thus far, Croatia has indicated that they will not make a COVID19 vaccine mandatory for residents, citizens or tourists. For additional resources related to COVID19 in Croatia, check out our dedicated section here.

Mandatory vaccinations required by Croatian law

The obligation to vaccinate is regulated by law (Article 77) and applies to all persons living in the Republic of Croatia, regardless of insurance status and citizenship. In the case of children who have started vaccination according to the vaccination programs of countries they come from, an attempt is being made to adjust the started vaccinations to the Croatian vaccination program and, if possible, continue vaccinations started outside Croatia.

First, we’ll go through the legislation that defines which vaccinations are mandatory for different circumstances and ages.

By law (Article 40), vaccination is mandatory in these cases:

  1. Tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus, wheezing, polio, measles, redness, mumps, and viral jaundice type B and diseases caused by Haemophilus influenzae type B – For babies, children, elementary school children, high school children, and adults when they reach 60 years old
  2. Tetanus – For injured persons
  3. Type B Viral Jaundice – For persons with increased risk of infection
  4. Anti-rabies – For all persons who are professionally at risk of infection and/or injured by a suspected rabid animal
  5. Yellow Fever – For persons traveling to a country where the disease exists or to a country that requires immunization against the disease
  6. Cholera and other infectious diseases – For persons traveling to a country requiring immunization against these diseases or in cases where there is an epidemiological indication
  7. Typhoid fever and other infectious diseases – For all persons for whom there are epidemiological indications

By law (Article 42), immune serum (seroprophylaxis) protection is mandatory for:

  1. Persons injured by an angry or rabid animal
  2. Injured persons exposed to tetanus infection
  3. Persons exposed to virus jaundice type A and B if there is a clinical or epidemiological indication

By law (Article 43), medication protection (chemoprophylaxis) is mandatory for:

  1. All persons exposed to cholera, tuberculosis or malaria
  2. Children, young people and persons employed in schools and other institutions for children and young people, at the epidemic occurrence of bacillary dysentery, streptococcal disease or an individual case of meningococcal disease according to the epidemiological indication
  3. Persons in contact with unvaccinated children up to the age of 5 at the appearance of invasive disease caused by type B influenza Haemophilus

What is required for children

Children must get mandatory vaccinations for:

  • Tuberculosis (BCG)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Pertussis
  • Polio
  • Diseases caused by Haemophilus influenzae type B
  • Measles
  • Rubella
  • Mumps

Child at doctor's office

Schedule of mandatory vaccinations

The name of vaccinations are commonly abbreviated, making it easier to list the combinations in which they are given. While we have outlined the full name of vaccinations in our schedule, here is a legend of those abbreviated names for your reference.

Legend for vaccination abbreviations

  • BCG – Tuberculosis vaccine
  • Hib – Haemophilus influenzae type B
  • DI-TE-PER – Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (acellular)
  • IPV – inactivated polio vaccine
  • DTaP-IPV-Hib-hep B (so called 6in1) – A combined vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (acellular), polio (inactivated), H. influenzae type B, and hepatitis B
  • Pn – Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus)
  • MO-PA-RU: Measles, parotitis, and rubella
  • DI-TE pro adultis: Diphtheria, tetanus, formulation for 6 years children and older
  • HBsAg: Hepatitis B surface antigen
  • ANA-TE: Tetanus vaccine

Vaccination schedule by age

Newborn children

  • Children who were not born in a hospital must receive the Tuberculosis vaccine (BCG) until the first year of life.

Newborns born to Hepatitis B positive mothers

  • Immediately after birth – Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)
  • At 2 months old
    • A combined vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (acellular), polio (inactivated), H. influenzae type B, and hepatitis B (DTaP-IPV-Hib-hep B)
    • Streptococcus pneumoniae (Pn)
  • After 2 months old
    • A combined vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (acellular), polio (inactivated), H. influenzae type B, and hepatitis B (DTaP-IPV-Hib-hep B)
    • Streptococcus pneumoniae (Pn)
  • At 1 year of age
    • A combined vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (acellular), polio (inactivated), H. influenzae type B, and hepatitis B (DTaP-IPV-Hib-hep B) – Must be 6 to 12 months after the third dose

Children 1 year of age

  • Measles, parotitis, and rubella (MO-PA-RU)
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae (Pn)
  • A combined vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (acellular), polio (inactivated), H. influenzae type B (DTaP-IPV-Hib)

Children 6 years of age

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis acellular (DI-TE-PER acellular)

Children in 1st grade of school

  • Measles, parotitis, and rubella (MO-PA-RU )


  • Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV)

Children in 6th grade of school

  • Check of Hepatitis B vaccine status and eventual compensation of missed vaccination, if applicable

Children in 8th grade of school

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, formulation for 6 years children and older (DI-TE pro adultis)


  • Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis acellular (dTap)
  • Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV)

Children in last year of high school

  • Check of vaccination status and eventual compensation of missed vaccinations, if applicable

Adult 24 years of age

  • Check of vaccination status and eventual compensation of missed Td vaccinations, if applicable

Adults 60 years of age or older

  • Tetanus vaccine (ANA-TE)

The full program and calendar for obligatory vaccinations for 2021 can be found here. View information on optional vaccinations here.

What do you think of Croatia’s vaccination schedule? How does it compare to your home country? Are there more or less shots required?

Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. We can recommend one if you contact us.

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14 thoughts on “Mandatory vaccinations required by law

  1. Eileen
    November 13, 2019 @ 10:29 am

    These laws violate human rights. I was going to invest a lot of money in Croatia to rebuild homes, roads, bridges, etc., but I won’t be doing that because obviously the government thinks they know more than the people. If they are going to kill off all the people with their mandatory vaccines, then why should I spend money to rebuild a country for dead or deteriorating people? I sure won’t go anywhere that violates my rights to good health, and to determine what I want to put into my body. I’ll keep my money at home because, although they have these requirements here, I know my rights, and I know they don’t have the authority to violate my rights. I don’t know how to enforce my rights in a foreign country. Croatia, say bye, bye to my my money.


    • Josipa Halbauer
      July 22, 2020 @ 12:58 am

      Yes Eileen I couldn’t agree more. I am a Croatian national living in Canada and its such a violation of basic human rights to not have the ability to choose what goes into our bodies. And if something goes wrong you’re on your own… ridiculous if you ask me. I should be able to make my own informed decisions. People back home are not educated about this matter enough to rebel and unfortunately even the medical experts and the science itself comes with so much misinformation it’s easy to get confused. But regardless of the person’s choice it most definitely should be a CHOICE without being judged for it. Take care!


  2. Petra Zeitz
    August 1, 2020 @ 1:03 pm

    But it sounds like if you move there as an adult, you should be ok, at least if you are from another eu country


    • Expat in Croatia
      August 10, 2020 @ 10:03 am

      Hi Petra,

      Yes, that is correct. 🙂




    • adis diana
      May 11, 2021 @ 9:05 am

      Hey Marija, can you give me information where can I apply for this mandatory vaccine? My children needs to follow up their vaccine but the pediatrician didn’t tell me that we could get vaccine for free, and to get vaccine at private clinic it’s so expensive. If you could give me more information about this it would be great. Thank you so much.


      • Marija Tkalec
        May 12, 2021 @ 3:04 pm

        Hi Diana,

        We already wrote an article on where to get vaccinations in Croatia, check it here:

        The easiest way is to go to your family doctor (doktor opće/obiteljske medicine).

        Warm regards,


    December 12, 2020 @ 6:47 am

    Me and some friends have a trip planned to Croatia October 2021. It was rescheduled from 2020. Are tourists required to get the Covid vaccination to enter the country? I agree that it is our human rights to have a say in what we want injected into our bodies.. I don’t like the government telling me I have to get this vaccination…I am from California and now I’ll have to see if this is going to be required


    • Expat in Croatia
      December 16, 2020 @ 2:37 pm

      Hi Lorette,

      The Croatian government has stated that we all have the right to decide whether or not we want to get the vaccine, so I think it is unlikely they will require it for visitors. That being said, if the government announces a requirement, we’ll update this post.




  4. Rana Rester-Zodrow
    February 13, 2021 @ 6:35 pm

    My husband and I are thinking of living in Croatia for a year. We have 2 kids ( 2 months and 4 years old) that we need to enroll in daycare/school. Is there a way to get an exemption like we have here in the US ( religious or personal) or other way to avoid the injections.

    Thank you


    • Expat in Croatia
      March 14, 2021 @ 3:45 pm

      Hi Rana,

      The mandatory vaccinations stated in this article are an obligation by law. You cannot get an exemption. Here is the excerpt from the law:

      “Kada se obveza mjera zaštite pučanstva od zaraznih bolesti odnosi na maloljetnu osobu, novčanom kaznom u iznosu od 2.000,00 kn kaznit će se za prekršaj roditelj, odnosno skrbnik, ako ne izvrši obvezu imunizacije protiv bolesti utvrđenih Programom obaveznog cijepljenja djece školske i predškolske dobi.”

      (“When the obligation of measures to protect the population from infectious diseases applies to a minor, a fine in the amount of HRK 2,000.00 shall be imposed on the parent, ie guardian, if he does not fulfill the obligation of immunization against diseases determined by the Program of compulsory vaccination of children of school and preschool age.”)




      • Andrey L
        March 18, 2021 @ 12:47 am

        Is the fine for not vaccinating children one time deal? Once you pay the fine will they leave you alone?


        • Expat in Croatia
          April 11, 2021 @ 2:57 pm

          Hi Andrey,

          Children need to have the mandatory vaccinations to be in school.




  5. mansoor latif
    September 16, 2021 @ 12:00 am

    So if the children were schooled at home as the age requirement is 7 before it becomes mandatory for school, the children suggested in the scenario don’t require a mandatory vaccine


    • Marija Tkalec
      September 17, 2021 @ 11:12 am

      Hi mansoor,

      The vaccination schedule of mandatory vaccines in Croatia is organized by age, not by schooling.

      Warm regards,


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