Mass vaccination against the coronavirus begins in Germany on Sunday, 27 December. But it will take until well into next year before everyone who wants the shot actually gets it. Answers to the most important questions about the vaccination campaign.
About the vaccine
The vaccine is known by the brand-name Comirnaty. Jointly developed by German firm BioNTech and American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, it has proven to be 95% effective against COVID-19 in global trials. The European Commission authorised the use of the vaccine on 21 December, paving the way for member states to start vaccination programmes.
Does everyone have to be vaccinated?
No. Vaccination against the coronavirus is voluntary.
Who will be vaccinated first?
The highest priority will be given to those over 80 years of age as well as people living and working in care homes. The first group to be vaccinated also includes those who work in intensive care units and emergency rooms of hospitals as well as at rescue services or vaccination centres.
How often do you have to get vaccinated?
The vaccine is given in two doses within three weeks. This is to ensure that it works properly.
Are the vaccinations registered?
Yes, but this is done anonymously. Non-personal data is collected on how many people, in which age group and where vaccinations are given. An electronic reporting system is set up for this purpose.
Where will the vaccinations start on Sunday?
The vaccination campaign will start in old people’s and nursing homes. Mobile vaccination teams will be deployed to visit the homes and vaccinate residents and staff there. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, the federal states and the local authorities will decide which homes will be vaccinated first.
How do I know when it is my turn?
Those entitled to vaccination will be informed by the authorities – the way in which this is done will be regulated at the level of the individual federal states. To avoid long queues in front of the vaccination centres, there will be a uniform appointment management system – this will probably be based on the existing appointment service points under the nationwide telephone number 116117. Those entitled to be vaccinated can register there.
What is the vaccination procedure?
Those who are not vaccinated in a home must go to a vaccination centre. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, those who want to be vaccinated must first identify themselves at the centre. Then they will receive information about the vaccination, its risks and side effects and a questionnaire about their state of health. The vaccination is administered in individual booths by specialised staff. For residents of old people’s and nursing homes who are vaccinated on site, the facilities must submit an eligibility form for those to be vaccinated.
Who pays for the vaccination?
The federal government pays for the vaccination; the vaccinated do not have to pay anything. No distinction is made between those with private and statutory insurance.
Meanwhile, almost two-thirds of Germans have shown a willingness to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to a YouGov survey commissioned by news agency DPA. However, more than half of the respondents (57%) said they were concerned about the potential side effects of being inoculated, the poll reveals.
Germany recorded 14,455 coronavirus cases on Saturday and the death toll rose by 240, according to the Robert Koch Institute, the country’s disease control and prevention agency. Altogether, 1,632,736 persons have been infected with the virus since the outbreak of the pandemic in March with 1,235,968 of them having fully recovered. Germany has recorded 29,580 deaths due to COVID-19 so far.
Vaccination centres by federal state
Frequently asked questions about the vaccination campaign are answered by the Federal Government HERE (German)