Germany To Offer Covid Booster Shots From September.

Germany To Offer Covid Booster Shots From September

Germany is currently enjoying lower COVID-19 infection rates than neighbouring countries (File).

Berlin:

Germany will start offering Covid booster shots from September and make it easier for 12-to-17 year olds to get a jab, the health ministry said Monday, amid concerns about the spread of the Delta variant.

Health Minister Jens Spahn and his 16 regional peers agreed after talks that the elderly and at-risk should receive a booster shot, citing concerns over "a reduced or rapidly declining immune response" among some groups.

Mobile vaccination teams should be sent into care and nursing homes, the text says, to offer Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna booster shots to residents, regardless of which vaccine they had originally.

Doctors will also be able to administer booster jabs to those who qualify, including people with weakened immune systems.

A booster shot will also be offered to anyone who received the two-dose AstraZeneca or single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines, the document released by Spahn's ministry said, "in the interests of preventative healthcare".

Both AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are viral vector vaccines, whereas the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use novel mRNA technology that has shown high efficacy in studies.

The ministers also agreed to make the coronavirus vaccine more widely available to over-12s, going a step further than the country's STIKO vaccines regulator.

The regulator currently only recommends the coronavirus vaccine for 12-17 year olds if they have pre-existing conditions or live with people at high risk from Covid.

Although adolescents who do not fall into those categories are still allowed to get vaccinated, in consultation with their parents and doctors, the cautious STIKO guidance has slowed take-up.

Germany's health ministers agreed on Monday to encourage vaccination among teens by opening all the country's vaccination centres to 12-17 year olds, alongside the possibility to get vaccinated at regular clinics.

The ministers stressed that the jab was voluntary but said getting children and teenagers vaccinated could "contribute significantly to a safe return to classrooms after the summer holidays".

Although Germany is currently enjoying relatively low infection rates compared with neighbouring countries, case numbers have been creeping up in recent weeks mainly because of the more contagious Delta variant.

There are also concerns about a slowdown in the country's vaccination rate, with just over 52 percent of the population fully inoculated.

Within the European Union, the European Medicines Agency has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna shots for all over-12s.

STIKO head Thomas Mertens told public radio MDR that the body was still waiting for data from longer-term studies before deciding on issuing a more general vaccine recommendation for over-12s.

The problem, he added, "is not so much the children's vaccinations".

What is needed to help suppress a fourth Covid wave in Germany "is a high vaccination rate among 18-to-59 year olds".

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

Related news

North Korea Says Hope Alive For Peace, Summit With South.

North Korea is willing to consider another inter-Korean summit if mutual respect between the rivals can be assured, state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday, citing Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North...

NDTV News

Herschel Walker questions Biden's priorities amid border crisis.

Herschel Walker questions Biden's priorities amid border crisis.

Herschel Walker questioned the Biden administration and Democrats for mishandling the border crisis, stressing the importance of unity moving forward. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News...

Camouflage and cosmos, protecting Sequoia trees: World in Photos, Sept.

Camouflage and cosmos, protecting Sequoia trees: World in Photos, Sept.

A look at the top photos from around the globe.

A rush to judgment - Digital Original

A rush to judgment - Digital Original

Racial justice activists rushed to judge the championship basketball team of Coronado, CA as racist, but are they really? Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encomp...

Who should get Pfizer's COVID booster shots?

Who should get Pfizer's COVID booster shots?

A CDC panel is meeting to determine who will qualify for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine booster shots. On Wednesday, the FDA authorized it for people ages 65 and over and others at higher risk. CBS News' Natalie Brand reports. Then Dr. Amesh Adalja, se...

Is Boris Johnson right that it's easy to go green?

Is Boris Johnson right that it's easy to go green?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told world leaders that Kermit the Frog was “wrong” when he sang ‘It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green’, adding it’s “easy" and "right to be green”. But is the prime minister right? Joycelyn Longdon, founder of Climate in Col...

How should children learn about climate change?

How should children learn about climate change?

Executive director of Climate Imperative, Bruce Nilles says it's "critical" that we help to explain the science of climate change to children. Plus, founder of Climate in Colour Joycelyn Longdon, explains how we can alleviate climate anxiety for c...