Which vaccines are recommended in Germany?

For those who reside in Germany, the German Vaccination Commission recommends immunisation against the following diseases: Tetanus, diphteria, Whooping Cough (pertussis), Haemophilus Influenzae b (Hib), Polio (poliomyelitis), Hepatitis B, Pneumococcus (Streptococcus pneumoniae), Rotavirus, Meningococcus C (Neisseria meningitidis), Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Chickenpox (varicella) (as of August 2016).

Regarding elderly people and pregnant women, the Vaccination Commission recommends inoculation against the flu (influenza). Young women are advised to get vaccinated against cervical cancer (triggered by the human papillomavirus or HPV).

If you live in an area where tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is prevalent and spend a lot of time outside, inoculation against TBE is highly recommended by the Vaccination Commission. Tick-borne encephalisits is a viral disearse which leads to inflammation of the brain, the meninges and the spinal cord. The virus is most often spread by ticks. 

You may need and be prescribed further vaccinations when you want to travel abroad. Find out more on tropeninstitut.de.

 

How often do I have to get vaccinated?

In order to immunise you against diseases, your doctor hast to follow different vaccination patterns. Sometimes you might have to be vaccinated several times within a specific period of time. Basic immunisation, which applies to children between 6 and 23 weeks, consists of four part vaccinations (G1 to G4). Once this basic inoculation has been carried out, it needs to be boosted again once the child has reached age 2, and later on at age 17. However, additional boosts might be necessary at a later stage. You can find the recommended schedule of the Vaccination Commission in 20 languages at the rki.de.

What is an “Impfpass”?

When you are vaccinated for the first time in Germany, you will receive a yellow booklet which is called “vaccination record” (“Impfpass”, “Impfausweis” or “Impfbuch”). All your inoculations will be recorded in this booklet which helps you keep track of the immunisation schedule. You should bring your vaccination record along to all your medical appointments. 

If you have minor children, you are responsible for the safekeeping of their vaccination record and monitoring their vaccination schedule for part inoculations. Any additional information can be collected in a record book for pediatric medical exams (“Kinderuntersuchungsheft” or “Gelbes Heft”). Until your child reaches age 6, all of their medical appointments and exams (U1 to U9) will be documented to recognise potential diseases as early as possible. Your gynaecologist or paediatrician will give you this booklet when you first visit them with your child. 

Who covers the costs of vaccination?

All public health insurance companies pay for the vaccinations recommended by the Vaccination Commission (according to the official vaccionation guideline). Some health insurances also pay for vaccinations against diseases that you might catch while on holiday abroad (“Reiseimpfung”). If you are at a higher risk of infection because of your profession, your employer has to pay for all the relevant inoculation you might need, according to section 3 of the Workers’ Health and Safety Act (“Arbeitsschutzgesetz”). 

How can I protect myself from infection?

In nurseries, elementary schools, holiday camps or other types of shared accommodation, many have to share limited spaces. In order to protect individuals from contagious diseases, special regulations are put in place. Infected individuals are obliged to inform the relevant staff, so that further spread of infection to others can be avoided. Infected children cannot go to kindergarden or school. To learn more, check Robert Koch institute's "Instruction For parents whose children attend communal facilities" which is available in several languages.