Almost one in four people in Germany fully vaccinated against Covid

Almost 25 percent of the German population is fully vaccinated against coronavirus, new figures show.

Almost one in four people in Germany fully vaccinated against Covid
A young person after a vaccination in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Fabian Sommer

According to the latest data, 24.8 percent (20.6 million people) of people in Germany have been fully vaccinated. And nearly half – 47.5 percent (39.5 million) – have received at least one jab. 

A total of 59 million vaccine doses have been administered so far, according to the RKI. There are just over 83 million people in Germany. 

It comes after Germany gave out more than two million jabs over two days. A total of 1,096,521 vaccine doses were injected into the arms of people on Thursday, while 1,306,600 million shots were administered on Wednesday.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn, of the CDU, tweeted about the achievement on Thursday. 

READ ALSO: Germany is in ‘race to vaccinate’ against Covid Delta variant, warns Merkel

The vaccination rate varies depending on the federal state. Bremen has recorded the highest rate of people vaccinated at least once, at 52.1 percent. Saxony lags slightly behind the other states at 42.7 percent.

Saarland leads the way when considering all vaccine doses administered, while the campaign is slowest in Hamburg, according to the RKI. However, Hamburg is also among the states that have received the fewest vaccine doses so far.

Germany lifted the priority list on Monday, meaning that all adults have been able to apply for a vaccine appointment. 

At the same time, thousands of in-house company doctors have started carrying out vaccinations on staff, helping to push up vaccine numbers.

Yet there are still supply issues and there can be long delays in actually securing an appointment. 

State by state: How to apply for a Covid vaccine appointment in Germany

Concerns over children 

Meanwhile, German health expert Karl Lauterbach, of the Social Democrats, says he fears there will be a wave of Covid infections in children after summer if there is not widespread vaccination in younger age groups.

Lauterbach, who has become a high profile figure in Germany during the pandemic, is urging Germany to vaccinate children quickly. The BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine has been approved in the EU for children over 12. 

But Germany’s Standing Commission on Vaccination (STIKO), which advises the government on vaccine matters, this week did not issue a general recommendation for healthy children aged 12 and older to be vaccinated, as expected.

It recommends jabs for 12 to 17-year-olds with certain pre-existing conditions. STIKO does say, however, that vaccinations in healthy young children should be possible after consultation between the child, parents and doctor.

“The use of Comirnaty (the BioNTech/Pfizer shot) in children and adolescents aged 12-17 years without previous illnesses is currently not generally recommended,” the draft resolution states. 

STIKO members believe not enough is known about about the effects of Covid vaccines in children. 

READ ALSO: Covid jabs for children in Germany will be an ‘individual decision’ says Health Minister

Despite the advice from STIKO, Health Minister Spahn opened up vaccine appointments to everyone over 12 this week. Ministers say Covid jabs can be given out to children over 12 after consultation with parents and a doctor. 

Lauterbach said not vaccinating children widely could see Covid infections soar among them. 

“In normal regular operation (in schools), we will see a lot of infected children without vaccination,” he said on talk show Maybrit Illner.

Lauterbach doesn’t think it is too dangerous to let children return to school after the summer vacations, even if they are unvaccinated. But he also cautions: “I don’t think it’s right that we say we protect adults by vaccinating them, but we protect children by allowing them to get infected.”

READ ALSO: Jabs for children and digital passports: What can we expect from Germany’s vaccine summit?

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Are people who’ve had the single J&J jab no longer fully vaccinated in Germany?

Germany's federal vaccine agency says that people who've had one dose of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine should no longer be classed as being fully vaccinated.

People queue for a vaccination in Quedlinburg, Saxony-Anhalt.
People queue for a vaccination in Quedlinburg, Saxony-Anhalt. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Matthias Bein

People who’ve had J&J, sometimes known as Janssen, used to have full vaccination status after a single dose of the vaccine. 

Since January 15th, however, a single dose of J&J should no longer count as full vaccination, according to the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), the country’s vaccine authority. 

In autumn last year the German government began recommending a second mRNA jab for people who’d had J&J – which many people thought was the booster vaccination. 

However, according to the PEI’s update on proof of vaccination within the Covid Protective Measures Exemption Ordinance and the Coronavirus Entry Ordinance, the second shot is needed to complete ‘basic immunisation’.

It is unclear at this stage if it means that people returning or coming to Germany from abroad with only one shot of J&J will be counted as partially vaccinated and therefore need to present tests or face other forms of barriers to entry. 

We are also looking into what this means for the various health pass rules in states, such as the 3G rules for transport. 

The Deutsches Ärzteblatt, a German-language medical magazine, said: “Special rules according to which one dose was recognised as a complete vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are no longer applicable.”

The Local has contacted the German Health Ministry for clarification on what this means for those affected. 

According to the latest government figures, 5.3 million doses of Johnson & Johnson have been given out in Germany so far in the vaccination campaign. 

The news will come as a shock to those who don’t know that they need another jab, or haven’t got round to getting their second vaccine yet. 

All other jabs – such as BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca – already require two jabs. 

People in Germany are seen as fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose. 

What about boosters?

As The Local Germany has been reporting, the German government said in December that people who’ve had J&J need a third shot three months after their second dose to be considered boosted.

A German Health Ministry spokesman told us last week that due to more vaccination breakthrough infections affecting people who’ve had the J&J vaccine, extra protection was needed.

“Therefore, after completion of the basic immunisation as recommended by STIKO, i.e. after administration of two vaccine doses (preferably 1x J&J + 1x mRNA), following the current recommendation of the STIKO, a further booster vaccination can subsequently be administered with a minimum interval of a further three months, as with the other approved Covid-19 vaccines,” the Health Ministry spokesman said. 

However, there has been much confusion on this front because some states have been accepting J&J and another shot as being boosted, while others haven’t.


It is unclear if the new regulation will mean that states will all have to only accept J&J and two shots as being boosted. 

North Rhine-Westphalia, for instance, updated its regulations on January 16th and now requires that people who’ve had J&J and one shot have another jab to be boosted. 

Having a booster shot in Germany means that you do not have to take a Covid-19 test if you’re entering a venue, such as a restaurant or cafe, under the 2G-plus rules.

The Paul Ehrlich Institute said that proof of complete vaccination protection against Covid takes into account “the current state of medical science”.