Do I really need to get vaccinated?
Yes, absolutely. COVID-19 vaccination is the most effective tool for ending the current pandemic once and for all.
Only when enough people are vaccinated will we see a reduction in cases of serious illness and death. We will only achieve this if every single one of us is fully vaccinated.
Are the vaccines absolutely safe?
Yes, all vaccines approved in Germany have been sufficiently researched and tested and are safe.
Can vaccines have side-effects?
As with any vaccine, side-effects may occur. For example, you may experience soreness or muscle pain around the injection site. It is also possible that you will feel unwell or develop a fever. This is quite normal, and shows that your immune system is reacting. Very rarely, there may be more severe side effects. The risk associated with falling ill with COVID-19 is much higher. All vaccines protect you from becoming infected with the coronavirus and are highly effective in preventing more serious progression of COVID-19. Furthermore, vaccination reduces the risk of you transmitting the virus to others.
Are there enough vaccine doses for everyone?
Yes, in the meantime, sufficient stocks of vaccines are available.
Where can I go to get vaccinated?
You can get vaccinated at most medical practices, by your company doctor, or you can take advantage of a communal vaccination offer. If you don’t have a family doctor, you can visit the website www.arztsuche-niedersachsen.de and find doctors who can vaccinate you near to your home or workplace.
1. Communal vaccination offers
Cities, towns, communities and the Hanover region offer mobile vaccination teams or fixed vaccination locations. You will be able to find more details on the websites of your local or regional authorities or, if available, from a community information centre. Clicking on your region on the interactive map will take you directly to the website of the authorities responsible for your community (in German).
The Lower Saxony Vaccination Hotline, 0800 99 88 665, will remain open to answer any questions you may have. You can call the Hotline at any time from Monday to Saturday between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Do you have any further questions about vaccination? Take advantage of the contact form at www.impfportal-niedersachsen.de.
Communities in many regions have launched vaccination campaigns. Our interactive map provides links to the communities that have published their vaccination campaigns online. Information about these can be found on the websites of the respective communities or local and regional authorities (only in German):
2. Registered doctors
Most doctors offer vaccinations. We recommend that you call your family doctor or a medical practice close to you to arrange an appointment for vaccination. If you don’t have a family doctor, you can visit www.arztauskunft-niedersachsen.de to find medical practices in your region.
3. Company doctors
Many companies offer their employees the opportunity to get vaccinated by a company doctor. Ask your personnel / human resources department whether your company offers a vaccination programme for employees.
Please don’t forget to bring your International Certificate of Vaccination to your appointment. If you don’t have one, they are readily available from pharmacies, medical practices or your local health authority (‘Gesundheitsamt’).
Which vaccines are available in Germany?
The following four vaccines are currently approved for use in Germany: BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. They are all scientifically well researched and safe. Full vaccination with any of these four vaccines provides very good protection against infection with the coronavirus and serious progression of COVID-19 infections.
The vaccines from BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna are approved for the vaccination of persons from the age of twelve, and the vaccines from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson for persons from the age of eighteen.
Are there people who shouldn’t be vaccinated?
- All persons suffering from an acute illness with fever (38.5°C or higher) should wait until they are completely recovered before getting vaccinated. In contrast, a light cold or increased temperature (less than 38.5°C) are not considered to be valid reasons for postponing your vaccination.
- Persons who are hypersensitive to components of vaccines or have known allergies. If this is the case, please mention it to the doctor or medic before vaccination
Do I need to get vaccinated after recovery from a previous infection with the virus?
Yes, you do. It is recommended that persons previously infected with the virus should be vaccinated 4 weeks after recovery from the infection.
Can I or should I also get my child between the age of 12 and 17 vaccinated?
Yes, absolutely. At least according to the recommendations of the experts of the Permanent Vaccination Commission of the Robert Koch Institute and the Public Health Agency of Lower Saxony. Vaccination is and remains the best form of protection against infection with coronavirus, above all with respect to the currently dominant and highly contagious Delta variant. The benefits of vaccination by far outweigh the risks.
What about younger children?
According to the recommendation of the Permanent Vaccination Commission, children between the ages of five and eleven can also be immunised with a COVID-19 vaccine. This applies in particular to children with a prior history of disease. Otherwise, vaccination is recommended for children who are in close contact with persons with an increased risk of serious illness from a COVID-19 infection because they cannot be fully protected by vaccination, or only insufficiently.
In accordance with the explicit wishes of parents, and following professional medical advice, vaccinations should also be possible for children without a prior history of disease.
In contrast to the conventional BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine, the vaccine administered to children between the ages of five and eleven has a lower dosage and is differently packaged. The Permanent Vaccination Commission advises the administration of two doses of the mRNA vaccine, separated by an interval of three to six weeks.
If you want your child aged between five and eleven to be vaccinated, please first consult your paediatrician for advice.
You can find an overview of the vaccination offers for children aged between five and eleven in communities and children’s hospitals in Lower Saxony here (in German).
The overview of vaccination offers is continuously updated. More offers from communities and hospitals will follow.
Can vaccines have side-effects?
Side-effects may occur, as with any other vaccine. Muscle pain at or around the injection site is one of the most common side-effects. Other possible side-effects are fever, tiredness and headache.
Vaccinations for expecting and breast-feeding mothers
The Permanent Vaccination Commission of the Robert Koch Institute recommends vaccination against coronavirus to protect you and your unborn baby. Vaccination with two shots of an mRNA vaccine can be administered from the 2nd third of pregnancy.
As of now, vaccination against COVID-19 with an mRNA vaccine is also recommended for unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated breast-feeding mothers.
Please mention any concerns you may have to your gynaecologist and take his or her advice.
Vaccination is also especially recommended for all women who would like to have children.
If you are not yet pregnant or are planning to start a family, you can, and should, get vaccinated, at all costs before getting pregnant. Getting vaccinated will protect both you and the baby that’s on the way against getting seriously ill with COVID-19.
Who comes into question for a booster shot with a COVID-19 vaccine?
Booster shots are very important for all fully vaccinated persons from the age of 12.
A third vaccination (booster shot) provides even more effective protection against illness and should be given after a period of at least three months after the second vaccination.
The Permanent Vaccination Commission of the Robert Koch Institute (STIKO) recommends booster shots for all persons from the age of 12. This also applies to expecting mothers from the second third of pregnancy.
An mRNA vaccine should be administered for booster shots, regardless of which vaccine was administered in the course of the previous vaccination.
As they are particularly vulnerable to infection with the virus and/or have a higher risk of becoming seriously ill, the Permanent Vaccination Commission further recommends prioritisation of the following groups of persons for booster shots: persons with a weakened immune system (immune deficiency), persons aged 70 and over, residents and persons in care in retirement homes, care homes or nursing homes for the elderly and personnel in medical and healthcare facilities.
Previously unvaccinated persons should be vaccinated with utmost priority.
Persons vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine
The permanent commission also recommends persons who have so far been vaccinated with the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to get a booster shot with an mRNA vaccine. The background to this recommendation is that, although this vaccine provides very reliable protection against serious progression of the illness, a greater number of COVID-19 breakthrough infections – i.e. COVID-19 infections despite vaccination – have been reported in comparison with mRNA vaccines .
In this case, the STIKO recommends a booster shot four weeks after the initial vaccination.
Anyone vaccinated with this single-dose vaccine should therefore contact a doctor to arrange an appointment for a booster shot.
An additional booster shot three months after the second vaccination significantly increases protection against the virus.
Booster shots are also recommended for persons who have recovered from a coronavirus infection
Persons aged 12 and over who have already been confirmed as infected with the coronavirus on the basis of a PCR test should be vaccinated at the earliest three months after recovery from the corona infection. Vaccination is also possible after only four weeks when the risk of infection with a newly identified variant of the virus exists, e.g. with the omicron variant. Please consult your doctor if this is the case. The same applies for children between the ages of 5 and 11 who have recovered from an infection with the coronavirus. This is the recommendation issued by the Permanent Vaccination Commission.
This also applies to persons who have suffered a corona breakthrough infection after the first or second COVID-19 vaccination. They should also be given a booster shot three months after their last infection.
Where can I get a booster shot?
Booster shots are available from registered medical practitioners. Please consult your family doctor for more information. If you don’t have a family doctor, you can find doctors who can vaccinate you at www.arztauskunft-niedersachsen.de
You can also contact your paediatrician when you have children and youngsters under the age of 18.
You can also get a booster shot from a mobile vaccination team or at a fixed vaccination location organised by your community.
In any case, please get vaccinated in order to protect yourself and others!
You can find more detailed information about coronavirus at www.niedersachsen.de/Coronavirus (only in German).
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