“Vaccines are safe and effective”

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COVID-19 vaccinations “Vaccines are safe and effective”

COVID-19 vaccinations are being administered nationwide. Currently the aim is to protect the most vulnerable first. Vaccinations have already eased the strain on hospitals. Four vaccines have now been approved. Here is an overview.

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Since the vaccination campaign was launched at the end of December 2020, a total of 8,863,270 people have been vaccinated (as at 13 March). 2,749,786 people have already received both injections. The Federal Ministry of Health publishes the latest figures on its dashboard. At www.impfdashboard.de you can also see the break-down of total vaccinations to date by specific population groups.

The aim at the moment is to protect the weakest. Residents and staff of care and nursing homes and everyone over the age of 80 is in the top priority Group 1. People over the age of 70, people with pre-existing conditions, and nursery and primary school teachers are in Group 2, which is the second highest priority group for vaccination.

The diagram is entitled "Who can be vaccinated first?" (More information available below the photo under ‚detailed description‘.)

Vaccination regulations: this is the order in which COVID-19 vaccinations will be offered

The diagram is entitled “Who can be vaccinated first?”

Under this are three boxes:

The left-hand box reads: Group 1, including over-80-year-olds, residents of nursing and care homes, employees in intensive care units and accident and emergency, ambulance crews.

In the middle the box reads: Group 2, including 70-80-year-olds, people with Trisomy 21, dementia sufferers, transplant patients, certain contact people

The right-hand box reads: Group 3, including 60-70-year-olds, people with pre-existing conditions, police and fire brigade, nursery and school staff and people working in the retail trade

Photo: Bundesregierung

Where can I find out whether I can be vaccinated?

The individual federal states are responsible for organising vaccinations. You can find out whether you are entitled to request an appointment in your federal state, and how to go about it, at www.116117.de.

Vaccinations are currently being offered in the vaccination centres of the individual states, while mobile teams are in action in care and nursing homes for instance.

Apart from individual pilot projects, general practitioners have not yet begun to offer vaccinations.

Vaccinations are having an impact

Where people are vaccinated, the incidence is significantly lower, especially among the over-80-year-olds, says Lothar Wieler, President of the Robert Koch Institute. The number of patients in intensive care is declining slowly, as is the number of deaths. But there are still too many deaths. For about two weeks now the incidence has been rising again in people under the age of 80, states Lothar Wieler. 

The RKI President also notes that all vaccines currently available in Germany provide extremely good protection against a severe outcome following infection with variants of the virus. Studies of the AstraZeneca vaccine, for instance, demonstrate a high level of protection for people over the age of 65 as well. “If you are offered a vaccine, please take it. The vaccines are approved. They are safe and they are effective,” he declared.

Vaccines have passed all safety and efficacy tests

The AstraZeneca vaccine has gone through the regular approval procedures of the European Medicines Agency, and has passed all required safety and efficacy tests, as have the other vaccines currently authorised within the EU, which are manufactured by BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. 

Four vaccines are approved for use

In the EU, four vaccines have now been approved. In December the vaccine manufactured by BioNTech/Pfizer was the first to be approved. At the beginning of January, conditional market authorisation was granted to the Moderna vaccine, followed by the AstraZeneca vaccine on 29 January. On 11 March the Johnson & Johnson was approved for use in the EU. Here you will find an overview of progress on approving COVID-19 vaccines.

General practitioners to offer vaccinations as the next stage

Currently, most vaccinations are offered at vaccination centres and by mobile teams , which are visiting institutions like care and nursing homes. Apart from individual pilot projects, general practitioners have not yet begun to offer vaccinations.

The latest vaccination regulations dated 10 March put in place the basis for general practitioners to offer vaccinations. This will be launched as soon as sufficient numbers of vaccine doses are available. Talks between the federal and state governments are ongoing. 

Contracts for around 300 million vaccine doses

If all vaccination candidates are approved for use, Germany will expect to receive a total of 300 million doses. This figure includes the number of doses that Germany will receive under the contracts concluded by the EU as well as the vaccination doses agreed with German manufacturers who have received German government funding.

More information about the COVID-19 vaccination

You will find answers to the main questions relating to the COVID-19 vaccination on our dedicated topic page and in our detailed FAQs.

You can find detailed information on the individual priority groups in the most recent version of the vaccination regulations  (as at 10 March).

In another text we address misconceptions and false information about the COVID-19 vaccination and explain what is behind them.

Here you will find an overview of the development status of the various vaccines.