What do I need to know?
Vaccination against COVID-19 is an effective way to prevent severe to fatal infection courses with Coronavirus. However, there are many questions surrounding vaccination- we try to address the most crucial ones here. The information you will find on this page has been checked for accuracy and will be updated if anything changes. We must all work together to prevent vaccine myths from spreading.
What do I need to know?
Yes. Anyone older than 5 who has registered their address in Germany or reside here regularly and for a long time have a right to a vaccination against the coronavirus. Those who do not have papers or a fixed place of residence can also get vaccinated against coronavirus. The vaccination is free for everyone.
You can find out when you are legally considered "fully vaccinated" („vollständig geimpft“) in the section "When am I considered 'fully vaccinated'?".
To get vaccinated, you only need to make an appointment at a doctor's practice or a vaccination centre nearby. You can find vaccination centres and medical practices in your area, for example, on zusammengegencorona.de if you select your state and click on the corresponding links. You can also book a vaccination appointment directly and easily on doctolib.de. You can also register (free of charge) randstad.de- then, you will be offered available appointments at doctors’ offices or vaccination centres nearby - and you can directly book the date that works for you. When registering, you can choose the vaccine you prefer.
Many cities are also conducting vaccination campaigns, in which you can get vaccinated without an appointment. However, you need to present your ID and vaccination card. Check your city's website to find the next dates and the address.
Since mid-December 2021, pharmacists, dentists and veterinarians are also allowed to administer vaccines. However, these professional groups are only allowed to vaccinate people aged 12 and over and must receive appropriate training beforehand.
Many people are unsure whether to get vaccinated against COVID- and unfortunately, there is a lot of inaccurate information out there about vaccines. You can find reliable and verified information in many languages on our website, impfen-gegen-corona.eu, the website of the Federal Commissioner for Integration and rki.de. If you have more questions about COVID vaccination, you can call the free hotline of the Ministry of Health on 0800-0000837. The staff there also speak English, Arabic, Turkish and Russian.
Currently, there are no general vaccination mandates in Germany, i.e., if you do not want to get vaccinated, you do not have to.
The only exceptions are employees of hospitals, nursing homes, medical practices and other facilities that provide services to vulnerable people. People who work in these facilities must prove that they are fully vaccinated or have recovered or cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons since March 15, 2022. Currently, these regulations applies until January 1, 2023.
Since 1 October 2022, you are considered fully vaccinated if you have received 3 doses of vaccine. So you need 2 jabs AND a so-called "booster jab" („Booster-Impfung“). You can find out more about the booster jab in the section "Why should I get a booster jab?". Alternatively, you should have recovered from a COVID-10 infection AND received a total of two doses of vaccine.
The following combinations of vaccines are possible:
- 3 x mRNA vaccines
- 2x Novavax protein-based vaccine AND 1x mRNA vaccine
- 2x Valneva virus vaccine AND 1x mRNA vaccine
- 1x AstraZeneca AND 1x mRNA vaccine
- 1 x Johnson & Johnson AND 2 x mRNA vaccines
- You have recovered AND have been vaccinated 2x with an mRNA vaccine, 2x with the Novavax protein-based vaccine, or 2x with the Valneva viral vaccine.
You are considered to have basic immunization 14 days after your second vaccine. That is because it takes about two weeks for your body to build up protection against COVID. However, you are not considered fully vaccinated.
You will be considered fully vaccinated when you get your booster jab 3 months later. The effect of the booster vaccination sets in after about 7 to 12 days. You can find an updated overview of the recommended booster schedule on infektionsschutz.de.
Important: The Standing Vaccination Committee (STIKO) recommends an interval of 3 to 6 weeks between the 1st and the 2nd vaccine dose. The interval between your 2nd and 3rd vaccination should be at least 3 months. Since October 1, 2022, you will no longer be considered fully vaccinated if you do not get your booster jabs. Your vaccination card and your digital vaccination certificate will then no longer be valid.
Regulations regarding different vaccine types
Please note: A double vaccination with Johnson & Johnson is no longer recommended. Individuals under 30 will only be vaccinated with mRNA vaccines produced by BioNTech
and the protein-based Novavax vaccines. And the AstraZeneca vaccine has not been used in Germany since December 2021.
Persons aged 12 and over
The Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) recommends a booster jab for everyone over the age of 12. You should get the booster dose 6 months after your second dose of vaccine. Or 6 months after you have recovered from Coronavirus.
Children under 12 years old
Children between the ages of 5 and 11 should only be given boosters if a coronavirus infection could be particularly dangerous for them. They can get a booster jab 6 months after their second vaccination or an infection with the coronavirus. You can learn more about vaccination for children in the section "What do I need to know about vaccination for children?".
Since October 1, you are only considered to be "fully vaccinated" if you have got a third vaccine dose, i.e. a booster jab; because the effect of the coronavirus vaccination wears off over time. Furthermore, different variants of the coronavirus are circulating. Therefore, the Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) recommends a third jab or a "booster vaccine". A booster jab increases your chances of preventing a severe course of disease.
The booster jabs are mRNA vaccines. Since September 2022, STIKO has been recommending an mRNA vaccine adapted to the Omicron variant. People under the age of 30 only get BioNTech's vaccines, not Moderna vaccines. With the booster jab, you decrease your chances of severely falling ill with the Omicron variants of the coronavirus or prevent illness altogether. You can get the booster jab in vaccination centres, from resident doctors, mobile vaccination teams or company doctors. You can also get a booster jab during so-called vaccination campaigns. Check your city's website to learn more about such campaigns.
The effect of booster vaccines wears off to some extent over time, STIKO recommends a second booster vaccination (as of September 2022) to prevent a severe course of illness in case of infection.
The second booster jab is recommended for:
- People over 60 years of age
- Residents of elderly or nursing homes
- Employees in medical and care facilities
- Children older than 12 who are particularly at risk of a severe course of illness if infected
Furthermore, STIKO advises very old people to have a third booster vaccination. Again, there should be an interval of 6 months between vaccinations.
Children between 5 and 11 years of age are also getting vaccinated.
Since November 2022, the Standing Vaccination Committee (STIKO) has recommended vaccination for children from the age of 6 months if they have a previous illness or were born prematurely.
Children receive a reduced dose of the Biontech vaccine. Children younger than 11 get a single dose. Those between 12 and 17 get two doses. The second dose can be inoculated three weeks after the first one. There should be an interval of 3 to 6 weeks between the vaccinations. STIKO also recommends a booster vaccination with the BioNTech vaccine, which has been adapted to the new virus variant, 6 months after the second vaccination dose.
The parents decide whether they want to vaccinate their child against COVID. If you have questions, seek help from your child’s paediatrician.
STIKO recommends the children aged between 5 and 11 who recovered from a Coronavirus infection to get vaccinated three months after their recovery. These children would only require one dose of the vaccine. Children between the ages of 12 and 17, on the other hand, should receive 2 vaccine doses 3 to 6 weeks apart.
Since the development of vaccines against coronavirus, there have been a variety of rumours and misinformation circulating on the Internet about the vaccines. That's why it's essential only to seek information from legitimate sources. The following links provide up-to-date and trustworthy information:
- On the website of the Federal Commissioner for Integration, you will find crucial verified information about vaccination against COVID-19 in different languages.
- On the website of the Federal Ministry of Health, "Zusammen gegen Corona", you will also find a lot of information about the vaccination in various languages.
- You can find detailed information on mRNA, vector vaccines and protein-based vaccines in many languages on the RKI website.
If you suspect that you are infected, contact the Germany-wide patient helpline by dialling 116117. They will let you know about the next steps. Please do not go to the doctor's office before first calling them.