COVID-19 vaccination

Latest update: - Authors: Mieke Croughs, Ula Maniewski-Kelner

What vaccines are available?

The vaccination campaign will start at the end of December 2020 with Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine.  In the course of 2021, other vaccines will also become available. Only those vaccines which provide good protection against COVID-19, are safe will be approved by the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products. The European Commission has currently signed contracts with AstraZeneca, Janssen Pharmaceutica, Sanofi-GSK, Pfizer-BioNTech, Curevac and Moderna.

Participate in a vaccine study?

There are currently several phase 3 studies with the COVID-19 vaccine from Janssen Pharmaceutica. Previous studies have already shown that the vaccine is safe and effective. Additional efficacy data are being examined at this stage. If you are 18 years of age or older, you can apply to the Institute of Tropical Medicine to take part.

Use of the COVID-19 vaccine

For whom is vaccination recommended?

Vaccination is strongly recommended for everyone aged 18 and over, but the government decides who can be vaccinated first. People with a higher risk of developing serious complications, e.g. residents of residential care centres, over-65s and people with certain health problems and workers in the health sector, are the first to be vaccinated.

Vaccination location

The first vaccines will be administered in residential care centres. It is not yet clear where the other vaccines will be administered.

Vaccination schedule

The vaccination schedule usually consists of two doses at three to four week intervals.

Protection

Two weeks after the second injection, sufficient antibodies will normally have formed, but the rate of protection varies according to the type of vaccine.
It is not yet clear how long the protection will last, but it is expected that the protection after vaccination will last longer than protection after an actual infection.

Revaccination

It is not yet clear whether and when revaccination will be necessary.

Updates

After a vaccination mild symptoms often appear, such as a flu-like feeling, fever and pain, redness or swelling at the injection site. Serious side effects are extremely rare. The risk of side effects is many times lower than the risk of the disease itself.

COVID-19 experienced

Because the protection period after experiencing the disease is relatively short, vaccination is also recommended if you have already had COVID-19.

Obligation

Vaccination against COVID-19 will not be compulsory.

Children

There is currently insufficient data on COVID-19 vaccination in children.

Resistance disorders

There is currently insufficient data on the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 immunisation for immune disorders.

Additional information

Check the general information on COVID-19 vaccination.

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