STIKO recommends COVID boosters for over-12s in Germany: What you need to know

STIKO recommends COVID boosters for over-12s in Germany: What you need to know

Germany’s Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) has recently updated its COVID booster recommendations for autumn to include everybody over the age of 12, just as the number of infections is beginning to rise steeply. Here’s what you need to know about getting a (second) booster shot in Germany. 

What you need to know about getting a booster shot in Germany

Inevitably as we head into the colder half of the year, another wave of coronavirus in Germany is beginning to gather pace. In response, STIKO has updated its position on booster vaccinations, meaning more population groups are now eligible for another shot before the Christmas holidays

So who is eligible for a (second) booster shot? Which vaccine is being used? And where can you go to get one? Here’s an overview of what we know. 

Who is eligible for a (second) booster vaccine in Germany?

As of approximately one week ago, the Standing Vaccination Commission’s position on booster shots has been updated to the following recommendations: 

  • All people aged 12 and over (and those aged between 5 and 11 with certain health conditions) should have a booster shot (i.e. a third vaccination).
  • All people over the age of 60 as well as the clinically vulnerable, residents of nursing homes and workers in the healthcare system should get a second booster shot.
  • People under the age of 60 with no pre-existing conditions do not currently need a second booster shot.

Are the Omicron vaccines now the only ones being used? 

The panel has also updated its recommendations to say that the booster shot should preferably be an Omicron-adapted bivalent mRNA vaccine and should be administered six months after the last vaccination or COVID infection. This includes the BioNTech / Pfizer vaccine (for anyone over the age of 12) or the Moderna vaccine for over-30s. 

However, as Focus reports, STIKO said that it would continue to recommend the previous (i.e. non-Omicron-adapted) vaccines for so-called “basic immunisation” as well as boosters, as they “continue to protect against severe COVID-19 disease progression, including through Omicron variants”, whereas the adapted vaccines are neither approved nor recommended for basic immunisation. 

This means that anyone who has already had a basic course of vaccination plus a booster jab doesn’t need to seek another Omicron-adapted vaccine, as they are deemed to already have sufficient protection against severe courses of coronavirus. 

Where can I get a booster shot in Germany?

If you are eligible for a booster but haven’t yet had your shot, you can make an appointment with your doctor. Some dentists and pharmacies are also offering coronavirus vaccinations, so speak to your local facility to see if that option is available. 

The booster vaccination is free. 



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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