Germany makes COVID vaccines available to all: What you need to know

Germany makes COVID vaccines available to all: What you need to know

As promised, Germany is lifting its vaccine priority list and making COVID jab appointments available to all adults as of Monday, June 7. However, both the government and doctors in Germany are warning people not to set their expectations too high. Here’s an overview of what you can expect. 

What’s happening with vaccinations in Germany?

As of Monday, June 7, anyone in Germany over the age of 12 can be vaccinated against coronavirus - at least, in theory. The vaccine priority list, which apportioned vaccine doses to “at-risk” population groups, has been lifted, meaning anyone is now free to make an appointment. 

However, the federal republic is still experiencing a shortage of vaccine doses. As it currently stands, it won’t be until the summer that there will be enough vaccine doses for everyone. Representatives from the medical community and the government are therefore urging those who wish to be vaccinated to be patient. 

Has the priority list been lifted in all federal states?

The problem is compounded by the fact that some federal states haven’t even finished vaccinating members of the three risk groups - as defined by someone’s age, medical conditions, or job

So, while the priority list is being scrapped nationwide in doctors’ practices, some federal states will continue to vaccinate according to the list in vaccination centres: 

  • In Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Bremen and Bavaria, vaccination centres will continue, for the time being, to work through the priority lists
  • In Saarland, the priority list will be scrapped, but people who belong to one of the risk groups will continue to be given priority when making appointments 
  • In other federal states, the prioritisation of vaccines will end in both the vaccination centres and GP surgeries. 

How do I make an appointment for a coronavirus vaccine?

In principle, anyone can now make an appointment to get vaccinated. You can either register for an appointment at your local vaccination centre, or contact your regular family doctor or company doctor. 

Appointments at vaccination centres can be made via the website, where you can find details about booking appointments in all 16 of Germany’s federal states. It’s also possible to book via phone by calling 116 117.  

Note that, initially at least, vaccine appointments continue to be in short supply. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn has stressed that not everyone will be able to get an appointment immediately. “Not everyone can get an appointment straight away on Monday,” he told Bild am Sonntag. “There aren’t enough for everyone yet.” 

In North Rhine-Westphalia, for instance, there are no available appointments at the vaccination centres for first jabs until mid-June, or even the end of June in some places.

Can children be vaccinated?

Children above the age of 12 can also make an appointment to be vaccinated, provided they have a consultation with a doctor first. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved the use of the BioNTech / Pfizer vaccine on this age group at the end of May, making this currently the only vaccine approved for use on children. 



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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