Vaccination: Germany plans a booster at the beginning of the school year

Starting September 1, Germany will offer the administration of a booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to elderly and vulnerable populations, as well as to people who have not received a messenger RNA vaccine.

“The booster vaccinations will be carried out with one of the two messenger RNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, editor’s note),” indicates the ministry according to which this decision “is in the interest of preventive health care.” The ministry explains that it is based on recent studies that show that “the immune response is reduced or in rapid decline after a complete vaccination against Covid-19” in certain populations “, in particular for immunosuppressed patients, as well as the very old and the that require care ”.

Starting in September, this reminder will be offered, in particular, in nursing homes, integration assistance structures and other accommodation housing vulnerable groups. Treating physicians will be invited to do the same for their immunosuppressed patients.

The new injection will be “generally at least six months” after the first full vaccination, regardless of the type of vaccine that was initially used.

Another group is also recommended for a booster: those who have been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. They will be offered an additional dose of a messenger RNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna).

According to the latter laboratories, an additional dose provides enhanced immune protection, in particular with regard to the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

Some countries have already adopted the principle of a booster vaccine. In others, this issue is debated. Israel has been administering a third dose of coronavirus vaccines to patients with weak immune systems since mid-July amid a surge in Covid cases linked to the spread of the Delta variant.

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Although Germany currently has a lower infection rate than neighboring countries, cases have increased in recent weeks, raising fears of a new epidemic wave. The slowdown in vaccinations is also cause for concern, with 52% of Germans fully vaccinated. Since the start of the epidemic, Germany has recorded more than 3.7 million Covid-19 infections and more than 91,000 deaths.

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