Covid-19 vaccinations

Information around the vaccination against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

The most effective protection against one's own serious or even fatal illness with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, is the corona vaccination. In addition, each vaccination helps to contain the spread of the coronavirus, helping to protect the entire population.

This page provides information on eligibility and recommendation for vaccination, how to get a vaccination appointment, and the vaccination process.

To help you keep up to date with all the latest developments, this page will be updated regularly. Last updated on: December, 20th 2021

Who is entitled to a vaccine?

Anyone who lives or works in Germany or who is usually resident in Germany is entitled to get a Covid-19 vaccine, regardless of their insurance coverage. The vaccines for the basic immunisation and the booster vaccinations are free for these people. Currently the costs are being covered by the german government.

Based on regulations regarding the admission of the vaccines, that are available in Germany, people from the age of 5 can get vaccinated. 

Vaccination recommendation and schedule

To be protected against a severe COVID-19 course, a complete basic immunization is required. According to the recommendations of the STIKO, vaccination is given according to the following schedule:

If the period between the first and second dose of the vaccine is exceeded, the series of vaccinations should still be continued rather than started again from the first dose.

With regard to the use of the vaccines, the following STIKO recommendations currently apply:

Note: At the moment, patients cannot decide for themselves which vaccine will be used for their vaccination. The choice of vaccine is made by the people administering the vaccine according to availability and the regulations in the Covid-19 vaccination plan. These regulations are based on STIKO recommendations, which have been developed as a result of the licensing restrictions for the various vaccines and studies on effectiveness and safety.

Note on vaccinating children

Biontech/Pfizer's Comirnaty vaccine is approved by the EMA in Europe for children 5 years of age and older. For children between 5 and 11 years of age, this is available in a special dosage (only 1/3 of the adult dose). In principle, all children in this age group can be vaccinated if they wish. Before vaccination, a doctor should explain the benefits and risks of vaccination.

The STIKO currently recommends vaccination only for children with pre-existing conditions that place them at increased risk for a severe course of Covid 19, or for children who have close contact with persons in the high-risk group. One of the aims is to prevent severe COVID-19 courses and deaths in children aged 5-11 years. 

Why does the STIKO not yet recommend Corona vaccination for all children aged 5-11 years?
Currently, children without preexisting conditions in this age group are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease, hospitalization, or intensive care. In addition, the risk of very rare side effects of vaccination cannot be fully assessed at this time due to limited data. Therefore, the STIKO does not yet make a general vaccination recommendation for 5- to 11-year-old children without pre-existing conditions. As soon as further data on the safety of the vaccine in this age group are available, STIKO will immediately review them and adjust the recommendation if necessary.

 

The mRNA vaccine Comirnaty from Biontech/Pfizer and the mRNA vaccine Spikevax from Moderna are approved in the EU for children aged 12 years and older. In Germany, however, only Comirnaty is used for vaccination of this group of people.

The STIKO recommends Corona vaccination with Comirnaty for all children and adolescents 12 to 17 years of age. Scientific data suggest that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risk for severe vaccine side effects. Vaccination protects children and adolescents from COVID-19 and its associated psychosocial sequelae. Vaccination should be preceded by a physician's explanation of the benefits and risks.

Especially those children and adolescents who have an increased risk of severe Covid-19 due to pre-existing conditions can benefit from a Covid-19 vaccination. This includes children and adolescents with the following deseases:

  • Obesity
  • Congenital or acquired immunodeficiency or relevant immunosuppression
  • congenital cyanotic heart defects
  • severe heart failure
  • severe pulmonary hypertension
  • chronic pulmonary disease with persistent limitation of pulmonary function
  • chronic renal insufficiency
  • chronic neurological or neuromuscular diseases
  • malignant tumor diseases
  • trisomy 21
  • syndromal diseases with severe impairment
  • not optimally controlled diabetes mellitus

 

Children can now be vaccinated at immunization centers, as well as at the pediatrician's or family doctor's office. If you have any particular concerns or questions, it may be advisable for you to contact your child's pediatrician, as they know your child or their medical history best. He or she will be happy to advise you and also perform a risk-benefit assessment.

Note on vaccinating pregnant and breastfeeding women

Unvaccinated pregnant women from the 2nd trimester and unvaccinated breastfeeding women should receive Covid-19 vaccination with two doses of mRNA vaccine, preferably Cominaty. If pregnancy was established after the first vaccination, the second vaccination should not be administered until the 2nd trimester. Available study results on the safety of Corona vaccination during pregnancy or lactation do not show a clustered occurrence of undesirable side effects in mother and child.

If you have any particular concerns or questions, it may be advisable for you to contact your gynecologist or general practitioner, as they know you and your medical history best. He or she will be happy to advise you.

Booster vaccination

The STIKO recommends the booster to all persons from 18 years of age. The recommendation also applies to pregnant women (from the 2nd trimester) and nursing mothers.

In the case of limited vaccination capacities, however, persons should be vaccinated as a matter of priority if they have an increased risk of contracting the disease due to their age, an immune deficiency, an underlying disease, a high-risk occupation or other risk constellations. Those who have not yet been vaccinated should also be vaccinated as a matter of urgency.

Ideally, the booster vaccination should take place three months after the second vaccination dose. In Germany, the two mRNA vaccines Comirnaty (Biontech/Pfizer) and Spikevax (Moderna) are used for boosting.

Persons vaccinated once with Covid-19 Vaccine Janssen (Johnson&Johnson) should receive a second dose with an mRNA vaccine starting as early as four weeks after vaccination.

Persons who had Covid-19 and subsequently received a single dose of vaccine should receive a booster vaccination three months after the previous vaccination.

Individuals who have experienced Corona infection following a Corona vaccination (regardless of the number of vaccine doses) should also receive a booster vaccination three months after recovery.

If you have any particular concerns or questions, it may be advisable for you to contact your general practitioner. He or she will advise you the best regarding the booster vaccination.

How you will receive your Covid-19 vaccination

Currently, the vaccination can be claimed in most medical practices and private doctors. Vaccination is also offered by company physicians in some cases. Persons in nursing facilities and homes are mainly vaccinated against COVID-19 by mobile vaccination teams. Persons who are not mobile and live at home can also be vaccinated by their local family doctor.

You can find out where there are vaccination facilities and vaccination campaigns in your federal state on the homepage of the federal government. There you will also find state-specific regulations regarding the Corona vaccination.

Note: Nursing facilities coordinate Corona vaccination within the facility with the agencies responsible in the federal states with the help of mobile vaccination teams. Corona vaccination via the company physician is coordinated by each company itself. Your employer will approach you should vaccination be offered in your company.

You must bring the following documents with you for your Covid-19 vaccination:

  • Personal ID card or other photo ID to prove your age
  • Vaccination record
  • Any other medical documents you may have, e.g. heart disease card, diabetic card, list of medication

  1. Vaccination advice and explanation of the benefits of immunisation, side effects, start and duration of protection, advice on subsequent and booster vaccinations, recommendations on precautions to be taken post-vaccination.
  2. Examination of symptoms and establishment of medical history to rule out any illnesses and allergies
  3. Administration of vaccine
  4. Follow-up observation for any potential reaction to the vaccine
  5. Issue of vaccine documentation

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