The Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) recommends a booster shot for all people aged 18 and over. Even adolescents aged 12 years and older can receive a booster shot at the vaccination support centres. The federal government assumes liability for booster shots for those aged under 18. The booster shot can be administered with an mRNA vaccine as early as three months after completion of the basic immunisation. If vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson, the first booster shot is recommended after only four weeks. Because of the higher risk of a severe Covid-19 course, older or previously ill people should be given priority for booster shots.
The recommendation differs depending on the type of evidence of infection. If necessary, the first vaccination can be given as early as four weeks after infection. In principle, at least two further doses of vaccine should be given after an infection in order to build up a robust vaccination protection. In principle, the disease and a subsequent vaccination should be clarified individually with your doctor.
Scientific evidence shows that a booster shot leads to higher vaccination protection. Because no particular risks have been shown with vaccination for pregnant women, the general recommendation for a booster shot or vaccination also applies during pregnancy. This means that regardless of age, pregnant women who have already received two doses of vaccine are recommended to receive a booster shot with the mRNA vaccine Comirnaty from the second trimester onwards, with a minimum interval of three months from the basic vaccination.
A booster shot with a single dose of one of the two approved mRNA vaccines (Comirnaty® by BionTech or Spikevax® by Moderna) is recommended. Because of the different side effect profile, especially in younger people, a booster shot in people under 30 years of age should be done exclusively with the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine for safety’s sake. For the booster shot with Biontech/Pfizer, the full dose should be used; for the booster shot with Moderna, half the dose of the basic vaccination should be used. The procedure for booster shot after administration of the Janssen vaccine is different. Special rules apply here. You should discuss these with your doctor.
Current studies show that the vaccines available are effective against virus variants such as the Delta variant. With regard to the Omicron variant, initial laboratory data indicate that there is improved protection after a booster shot. If and when vaccines adapted to the Omicron variant will be available can currently not be estimated.
In principle, there is nothing to be said against receiving the vaccinations in parallel.
The vaccines currently in use are also not live vaccines. The mRNA vaccines combine positive aspects of live and inactivated vaccines. The immune-effective components contained in it are unable to propagate in the body. Side effects are to be expected also when using inactivated vaccines – also against the background of necessary additives that activate the immune system. The development and production of inactivated vaccines takes a long time, and there is not yet an approved one in the EU. Adaptation to viral variants takes much longer with classical inactivated vaccines than with mRNA vaccines. Regardless of this, the risk of severe COVID disease outweighs the risk of the severe vaccine side effects of the currently available vaccines many times over. It will be several months before the first inactivated vaccine can be offered in Germany; waiting for this means a high risk of contracting COVID-19.
A simple cold should not prevent you from getting vaccinated. However, if you have a fever, it may be better to wait before getting vaccinated. Clarification with your general practitioner is recommended here.
It is difficult to estimate the individual severity of vaccination reactions. Studies show that the booster shot is well tolerated similar to the initial immunisation.
Vaccination services and appointments
General practitioners are offering booster shots. Furthermore, in addition to first and second vaccinations, booster shots are also offered during the on-site vaccination campaigns in Baden-Württemberg. With vaccination support centres that are within easy reach, the state will create additional capacities throughout Germany in order to support general practitioners. At least one mobile vaccination team will be made available to each city and district. The mobile vaccination teams are docked at the previous 12 hospital sites in Germany. The number of these has been increased to 155.
Yes, in order to receive a booster shot, proof of the first and second vaccinations in the form of the yellow vaccination card, the digital vaccination certificate, or a replacement vaccination certificate, a photo ID, and, in the case of persons with immunodeficiency or under immunosuppressive therapy, an appropriate medical certificate, previous medical findings, or a doctor’s letter must be presented.
Proof of vaccination against the coronavirus is now possible only by means of a QR code. The yellow International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis is no longer sufficient. The QR code is on the digital vaccination certificate, which you will either receive directly when you are vaccinated or pick up at the pharmacy with your yellow vaccination certificate following vaccination. The QR code can then be scanned with either the Corona Warn app or the CovPass app.
The vaccination is paid for by the federal government. This means that an insurance card is not required. Vaccination is usually also possible regardless of residence status.
Since 4 December 2021, people who have already received a booster shot no longer have to present a current negative corona test wherever the 2G+ rule applies – for example, in restaurants, at the zoo, or at leisure and cultural events.