Coronavirus Vaccination

Vaccination against Sars-CoV-2 is the most effective tool to get the pandemic under control. Those who have been vaccinated not only protect themselves from the disease and severe courses – they also reduce the likelihood of infecting others. Find the essential facts about the effectiveness of the various vaccinations and what risks the vaccines entail.

What vaccines are there?

So far, four vaccines against the coronavirus or Covid-19 for adolescents aged 12 and over and adults have been provisionally approved  in the European Union (EU):

These four corona vaccinations are so-called gene-based vaccines. These vaccines smuggle – in different ways – genetic blueprints for specific protein structures of the virus into the body cells. The body cells, in turn, then produce the respective protein themselves. The immune system reacts to this and learns to take action against the actual virus in an “emergency.”

Other vaccines rely on a “classic” principle of action:

  • a protein-based vaccine from Novavax
  • a protein-based vaccine from the two companies Sanofi Pasteur and GlaxoSmithKline ( Vidprevtyn – currently under review)
  • an inactivated vaccine from Valneva (not yet approved)
DNA and mRNA vaccines

Vaccines are one of humanity’s oldest and most effective medical interventions. But has the technology that has made them so effective been around for that long? Many techniques that have made vaccines so effective don’t fall under the traditional definition of vaccination, but they work just as well. One method, for example, involves using DNA and mRNA, which are the forms of the genetic material that guide cells to make proteins. In comparison, proteins usually have a few amino acids, but DNA and mRNA contain programs that can instruct cells to make thousands or millions of proteins.

DNA and mRNA vaccines belong to gene-based vaccines. You can find out how they work and whether they harbor risks here!
Some bacteria can survive by using a unique gene that gives them resistance to certain antibiotics. This gene, called a DNA modification, makes all the bacteria protected by the gene resistant to antibiotics. However, some bacteria have found a way to modify their DNA to allow them to become resistant to antibiotics that the DNA modification gene doesn’t protect against. This is known as a “vector vaccine.”
Vector vaccines are a new type of vaccine. Read here how they work and what risks they pose!
The BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine offers reliable protection against Covid-19 disease. How does it work and how tolerable is it?
The vaccination protection of a single dose compared to the omicron variant is reduced. Find out more about the current situation here.
The corona vaccine from the US manufacturer Moderna is approved in the EU for people over the age of 18. What is known about the effect, dosage and tolerability?
The vaccine Vaxzevria from the manufacturer AstraZeneca protects against Covid-19. Find out everything about the vaccination schedule, effectiveness and tolerability here.

How to vaccinate against Corona?

Vaccination experts recommend vaccination against the coronavirus or Covid-19 for all people who are twelve years of age or older. How and at what intervals doctors vaccinate depends on the respective vaccine.
Two vaccine doses are generally usual for the first immune protection (primary immunization). If someone receives a vector vaccine with the first vaccination, an mRNA vaccine (heterologous vaccination) ideally follows with the second one.

It is best to leave at least three (Comirnaty) or four (Spikevax, heterologous vaccination schedules) weeks between the two vaccinations. In the case of the mRNA vaccines, however, the vaccinations should not be more than six weeks apart.

Why is vaccination against Covid-19 particularly important during pregnancy? Are there risks? And does it also protect my child? The most important answers.
Refugees often have no Covid-19 vaccination protection or have been vaccinated with non-recognized vaccines. Where and how can you get vaccinated?
If you receive different coronavirus vaccines at different times, this is called cross-vaccination. You can find out what is known about it here.

For whom and when is a corona booster vaccination useful?

The Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) experts have recommended a Covid-19 booster vaccination for all vaccinated people aged 12 and over since mid-November. One reason: is that vaccination protection can decrease over time. Older people, people in nursing homes, or medical staff should primarily receive a booster vaccination.

Since the highly contagious omicron variant has dominated the course of infection, the Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) recommends boosting immune protection three instead of six months after the primary immunization with another vaccination. The doctors are planning an mRNA vaccine for this.

It does not matter which vaccine was previously administered. However, people who have already received an mRNA vaccine in the first two doses of the primary immunization ideally receive the same active substance again. 

A third vaccine dose protects against vaccine breakthroughs and curbs the further spread of Sars-CoV-2. Read everything you need to know about booster vaccinations here.

The announcement that doctors should preferably use the Moderna vaccine for booster vaccinations is making waves. But the discussion is unnecessary.
How well does the fourth vaccination work? When and for whom would it make sense? And when will adapted vaccines against omicron be available? The most important answers.

Vaccinations for children and young people

The European Medicines Agency EMA has approved the first Covid 19 vaccinations for children and adolescents aged 12 and over. Since then, the younger population of Europe has also been gradually vaccinated.

PIMS is a severe inflammatory disease in children thought to occur due to coronavirus infection. Read how to recognize and treat PIMS here.

How safe are the corona vaccinations?

The corona vaccines have already been vaccinated many millions of times around the world without frequent serious consequences. They have also been thoroughly tested and classified as safe by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Typical vaccination reactions are fever, muscle pain, and pain at the injection site. Occasionally, however, undesirable side effects can also occur. These include more severe, such as strong allergic reactions, blood clots (cerebral vein thrombosis), or heart muscle inflammation (myocarditis). But they are infrequent.

The development and approval of the first corona vaccine took just under a year – a record. Time was saved – but not safety.
The corona virus is constantly changing – the longer the pandemic lasts, the more often. Which mutations are dangerous and where do they spread?
The effectiveness that manufacturers certify their vaccines has a wide range. In fact, some protect better than the numbers suggest.
Hundreds of millions of Covid-19 vaccines have been vaccinated worldwide. Whether they cause side effects is closely monitored. Find out about the current status here.
The short but clear answer is no. You can read here why you can say that with such certainty and who is primarily harmed by the legend.

What should you consider after the vaccination?

After a completed series of vaccinations, your immune system is best prepared for the coronavirus. Not only are you protecting yourself, but the likelihood of infecting others is also significantly reduced. You can prove your vaccination status with your official vaccination card or a digital certificate.

However, people who have been fully vaccinated sometimes become infected again with the virus. Doctors speak of a vaccine breakthrough. The vaccinated people often do not notice anything but can pass on the virus.

That’s why it makes sense to continue wearing a mask in certain situations and follow other hygiene rules. What freedoms you regain as a vaccinated person is currently part of the discussion.

After vaccination, most people are relieved. But when can you feel safe and does the vaccination also protect others?
After a completed corona vaccination series, you will receive a vaccination certificate. You can read about the certificates here.

More information about the Corona vaccinations

New questions keep popping up on the subject of corona vaccinations. Why is the second dose so important? For whom are vaccinations essential? And what is the status of the issue of compulsory vaccination?

Some people are currently reluctant to get vaccinated against Covid-19. But that is highly risky – and not only for them.
Parliament has rejected a general vaccination requirement at this point in time. If the situation worsens again, that could change. What speaks for mandatory vaccinations, what against?
Measles, flu or hepatitis: which vaccinations are important? When do I need to refresh them? What vaccinations do children and pregnant women need?
The coronavirus pandemic is keeping the world in suspense. Read everything about the current development, the background and how you can protect yourself here.

Scientific standards:

This text corresponds to the requirements of specialist medical literature, medical guidelines, and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.