POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - EUROPE

Coronavirus

Germany to offer third vaccine dose from September



Germany will be offering an additional injection of vaccine Photo: Paperjam

Germany will be offering an additional injection of vaccine Photo: Paperjam

Germany will begin offering coronavirus vaccine booster shots starting 1 September over fears of declining efficacy and the spread of the Delta variant, following Israel and the UK.

The Germany health ministry on Monday said the third dose would be offered to the elderly and vulnerable groups, such as people with weakened immune systems, but also people who received the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines the first time around.

"These booster vaccinations will be carried out with one of the two messenger RNA vaccines [Pfizer/Biontech or Moderna, editor’s note]," the ministry said, citing a decision "in the interests of preventive health care."

The ministry said recent studies show that the immune response is reduced or declines rapidly after full vaccination against covid-19 in certain populations, "particularly for immunocompromised patients and the very elderly and those requiring care.”

Mobile vaccination teams will be dispatched to care and nursing homes and doctors can also administer the booster shots in their practices. This extra jab will be timed roughly six months after the patient was fully vaccinated with one of the one or two-dose vaccines available on the market.

All people who received the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be offered an additional dose of a messenger RNA vaccine (Pfizer/Biontech or Moderna) in an effort to boost immune protection.

Germany is not the first country to go down this route, as Israel has already been administering this third dose since mid-July and several million UK residents are expected to receive a third dose of a coronavirus vaccine from next month.

This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.