Extraordinarily there is still a large portion of the population in Germany who are either reluctant or adamant not to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations.  Unfortunately as the COVID-19 infection rates continue to soar, this puts those who are vaccinated in a very precarious position.  However having said that, after the distracted of elections and coalitions the Government now appears to be waking up to this fact.

So with pressure mounting on the health care system the mandates are moving more towards restricting access to public life for those who choose to remain unvaccinated.  As it stands the hospitalisation rate in Hessen is at 4.81.  Also, the 7 day incidence rate is far higher than the previous record set at what was thought to be the height of the pandemic.  Needless to say restrictions continue to tighten with more 2G being adopted.

Furthermore, as well as continuing to ‘urge’ the unvaccinated to get their Covid-19 vaccine there is now also a push towards boosters.  To clarify, those who received the COVID-19 vaccination six months ago can now have their booster jab.

COVID-19 Booster Vaccinations in Hessen

Stiko now recommends the COVID-19 booster vaccination for all people aged 18 and over who received their vaccination six months ago. However, they also ask all citizens to please give priority to booster vaccinations to those who are more at risk.  For instance those whose vaccination protection is reduced relatively quickly, people over 70, previously ill and immunosuppressed or those vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson and exclusively with Astrazeneca.

Where can I register for a booster vaccination?

Well, as well as revisiting the centre or doctor that issued your first two vaccinations.  If you do not have a general practitioner see doctors in Hessen offering COVID-19  boosters and vaccinations.

Where to get your COVID-19 Vaccinations

Register or walk-in service:

Phone:
With your local General Practitioner (GP):
Local Vaccination Centre

** Hesse follows the Corona Vaccination Ordinance of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Make your life easier with a digital COVID-19 certificate

If you have a smart phone, one of the easiest and most effective ways of ensuring that you always have your vaccination status available is with the EU Digital COVID certificate.

As of 7th June 2021, the prioritisation for vaccinations has been lifted.  Meaning that anyone is now able to register for a vaccination!

Travelling this summer EU DIGITAL COVID CERTIFICATE

Previous Vaccination Update in Hessen (06 June 2021)

All prioritisation has been lifted.  Meaning that anyone is now free to register for a vaccination.  Also the lifting of prioritisation extends to Hausartz, specialist doctors and company doctors.

Also, as prioritisation has been lifted schoolchildren (12 years and older) are now allowed to register to be vaccinated at their Hausartz or paediatrician.  However, STIKO approval is still pending and thus only schoolchildren aged 16 and older are able to register for vaccinations at designated vaccination centres.

The Federal Government has now notified the federal states that a separate school children campaign will not be possible.  As a result, the previously mentioned school campaign suggested by Hessen Government will no longer be possible

Also, Biontech is currently the only vaccination approved for use for people aged 16 and above.  However, the company has applied for approval for ages 12 and above, this is expected shortly

ASTRAZENECA VACCINATIONS Additional Information

Prime Minister Volker Bouffier announced on Tuesday 27th of April that everyone in Hessen may now register for a vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine.  The guidance offered on the official Hessen website is that anyone under 60 can register for AstraZeneca, however, they will need to have to have a corresponding consultation with the vaccinating doctor.  In other words, you should check with your Hausartz.

AstraZeneca vaccines have been suspended for those under the age of 60, although as stated above you can opt in to receive the vaccination on consultation with a doctor and at your own risk.  Hessen follows the guidance and recommendations from Germany’s permanent vaccine commission, known by the short name STIKO.  This latest decision comes on the basis “of currently available data on the occurrence of rare, but very serious thrombosis-related side-effects.”   Also, of the few reported cases, young women appear to have been the ones primarily affected.

The Hessen Prime Minister Volker Bouffier, encourages all those over 60 to continue to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, stating that the benefits far outweigh the risks.  He continued, that when his turn to receive the vaccine arrives, should he be offered AstraZeneca he will accept it.

What happens now?

The approximately 12,500 citizens with appointments scheduled currently will now receive the BioNtech or Moderna vaccine which have no age restrictions.  Of the 208,000 citizens who have to date received the AstraZeneca vaccine over half are under 60 years of age.  The second vaccination appointments will be postponed until May.  Furthermore, at the end of April STIKO should be a position to determine whether in principle the second AstraZeneca vaccination can go ahead.

Previous Advice from the Hessen Ministry

The Hessen Ministry of the Interior has instructed that all vaccination centres will resume administering the AstraZeneca vaccine as of Saturday 20th March.  Thus, vaccination appointments scheduled for the week end have not been cancelled.  However, it is always prudent to double check.

The Paul Ehrlich Institute offered the following:

“After intensive consultations on the serious thrombotic events that have occurred in Germany and Europe, the Paul Ehrlich Institute recommends the temporary suspension of vaccinations with the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca.”

”The Paul Ehrlich Institute would like to point out that people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca and feel increasingly unwell more than four days after the vaccination – e.g. with severe and persistent headaches or punctiform skin bleeding – seek medical attention immediately Should seek treatment.”

Since this initial statement, the EMA (European Medicines Agency)has determined that there is no increased risk of thromboembolic events (blood clots) as result of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Germany to approve Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine for adults of all ages

The German health minister, Jens Spahn, announced on Monday 10th May that anyone who wished to receive the one-shot J&J vaccine would be able to do so..

As with AstraZeneca, Germany’s vaccine regulator has only recommended the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for people aged 60 and over.  However, the same process being implemented with AstraZeneca would apply to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  Patients will need a consultation with a vaccinating doctor and be assessed.  Also, they will be made aware of the extremely low risk of a rare blood-clotting condition.

Finally, the 10m doses of the US vaccine are only scheduled to arrive in the Germany in June.

The COVID-19 Priority Groups Additional Information

    • Those aged 80 and over
    • Those who are treated or cared for in inpatient nursing homes, and people who work in these settings
    • Nursing staff in outpatient care services
    • Healthcare workers with a high risk of exposure to COVID-19, especially those working in intensive care, emergency rooms, palliative care and coronavirus vaccination centres
    • Healthcare workers who treat high-risk patients

    • Those aged 70 and over
    • Those at high risk of a severe/fatal disease after infection as a result of underlying health conditions i.e.
      • trisonomy 21
      • dementia or a similar condition,
      • those recovering from a transplant,
      • and those with Down Syndrome
    • Close contacts of people aged over 80 or residents of nursing / care homes
    • Close contacts of pregnant women
    • Doctors and other healthcare workers who have a high or increased risk of exposure to coronavirus
    • Police and law enforcement officers who are exposed to a high risk of infection while on duty
    • Key workers in the public health service
    • People who live or work in refugee or homeless facilities

** Please be aware that if you have a pre-existing condition it is for your doctor (GP/Hausartz) to determine whether you fall into group 2 or group 3.  By emailing your doctor they should be able to tell you and provide a note to proceed.

    • Those aged 60 and over
    • Those at high risk of a severe/fatal disease after infection as a result of underlying health conditions i.e.:
      • diabetes,
      • cancer,
      • chronic kidney or liver conditions,
      • HIV or other immune-deficiency conditions,
      • heart conditions,
      • asthma and clinical obesity
    • Employees in medical facilities with a low risk of exposure (e.g. laboratories)
    • Key workers in government, administration, constitutional bodies, the armed forces, the police, fire brigade and justice system
    • Key workers in critical infrastructure companies, pharmacies and the pharmaceutical industry, power supply, water and waste disposal, the food industry, transport, information technology and telecommunications
    • Teachers and other educators
    • People with precarious working or living conditions

** ** Please be aware that if you have a pre-existing condition it is for your doctor (GP/Hausartz) to determine whether you fall into group 2 or group 3.  By emailing your doctor they should be able to guide you and provide a note to proceed.

    • Once all the above priority groups have been vaccinated all remaining citizens will be vaccinated

Vaccination Calculator

To ascertain when you might be in line to get your vaccination, check out the OMNI Calculator