The Permanent Vaccination Commission (STIKO) recommends Corona vaccination with the mRNA vaccines BioNTech or Moderna for children and adolescents aged 12 years and older.
Questions and answers about Corona vaccination from 12 years of age
Last revised: 1 October 2021
Informationen zur Impfung von Jugendlichen im Alter zwischen 12 und 17 Jahren
COVID-19 is a potentially life-threatening disease. The Corona vaccine offers children aged 12 years and older safe and effective protection against severe COVID-19 disease requiring hospital treatment. In addition, the psychosocial consequences of the pandemic, especially measures of isolation, are significant in this age group even independently of individual COVID-19 infections. Vaccination is the easiest way to return to normality.
The schools implement testing very well. However, the testing process takes time and resources at the schools. On school trips lasting several days, retesting has to be done repeatedly, and the testing infrastructure will most likely decrease. Many children are deprived of a regular daily routine. Vaccination is the easiest way to return to normality. With vaccination, the testing effort in the daily lives of children and adolescents is eliminated.
The results of a study with around 2,000 children and young people aged 12 to 15 years show: The Comirnaty vaccine from BioNTech/Pfizer is also safe in this age group. The efficacy is comparable or even better than in 16–25 year olds.
The STIKO recommends a single vaccination – usually six months after infection – for all persons aged 12 and over who have had a confirmed corona infection regardless of age. This interval can be shortened to up to four weeks if exposure to newly emerged virus variants can be assumed or the original infection has been asymptomatic (i.e. without symptoms of illness).
Risks and side effects
The Comirnaty vaccine of BioNTech/Pfizer was the first to be approved worldwide against COVID-19. From the beginning, it was approved for people aged 16 and over. It was also the first to receive conditional approval from the European Union for children and adolescents aged 12 to 15 as well. On 23 July, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) also recommended the extension of the marketing authorisation for the vaccination of children and adolescents aged 12 years and older with Spikevax from Moderna. The European Commission has extended the authorisation of this vaccine for this group accordingly.
Vaccinated children and adolescents may experience typical vaccination reactions that subside after one to three days without any consequences. These included pain at the injection site, fever, chills, and headache. These vaccination reactions are also known from clinical studies with adults and are usually no cause for concern. To alleviate possible discomfort, an analgesic/antipyretic may be taken in the recommended dosage after consultation with the doctor.
Yes. That’s because, so far, no connection between vaccination reaction and vaccination protection has been proven.
By the age of 12, the immune system is fully grown. Children and adolescents thus receive the same vaccine dose as adults.
The approved vaccines were, of course, also tested on young women. Girls have no need to worry. Every vaccination can have an influence on the female cycle. But not every reaction that takes place during the period of the vaccination can be attributed to the vaccination. It can also be stress-related because of the expectations. Only if the cycle is delayed for several months should this be clarified by a doctor.
Heart muscle inflammation can occur with many viral diseases and in any age group. Important: If a young man gets corona, he is six times more likely to get heart muscle disease than if he is vaccinated.
Similar to other vaccinations, it is recommended to take it easy for a few days to a week and to avoid exertion in order to avoid side effects.
The Corona vaccination is available from paediatricians and general practitioners. In addition, you can get vaccinated as part of a local vaccination campaign. For dependants of employees, vaccination against COVID-19 can also be carried out by company doctors. Even if older adolescents are already working, they can get vaccinated at their company doctor’s office.
Mobile vaccination campaigns are taking place on site all over the country. Vaccination without an appointment and where people spend their free time was already the goal of our #dranbleibenBW summer programme, which the Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Integration launched together with municipalities and other partners. These offers will be continued. Of course, the hygiene rules will be observed. As an additional offer, the Ministry of Health and Education addressed secondary and vocational schools in a joint letter on 24 August and informed them about vaccination offers. For example, schools can directly request mobile vaccination teams for schools.
No. School attendance is not dependent on the Corona vaccination.
The intervals are the same as for adults – full vaccination protection applies 14 days after the second vaccination. There is only one exception: If the person has recovered from COVID-19, they are considered to be fully vaccinated immediately after vaccination.
That is not yet certain. Studies show that vaccination protection decreases more quickly in certain risk groups. Therefore, a booster shot is currently only planned for risk groups.
For the vaccination of children under 16 years of age, a declaration of consent from the parents is required. In the case of separated parents, the signature of both parents is required.
It is important to convince not only adolescents but also their parents that vaccination is important. In principle, however, adolescents over the age of 16 can decide for themselves and do not need parental consent for vaccination.
More information (especially for children and adolescents)