Bavaria starts booster Covid jabs for most vulnerable

Bavaria starts booster Covid jabs for most vulnerable
People waiting for a vaccine in Munich in July. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe
The southern state of Bavaria has started offering booster shots to the very elderly and people with weakened immune systems.

People over the age of 80, nursing home residents and those with immune deficiencies can get a booster shot, as part of Germany’s plans to tackle the fourth wave. 

Bavaria’s health minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU) said that doctors and vaccination centres in Bavaria will offer the additional vaccinations against Covid from Monday.

The move is a precautionary measure aimed at offering additional immune protection for the people who most need it.

Experts say that immunity built up during the first and second Covid injections can decline over time, so an additional dose can act as a top-up to increase protection.

READ ALSO: Who’s about to get a top-up Covid shot in Germany – and why?

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Focus on care homes

The prerequisite is that those eligible must wait at least six months after their last vaccine dose before they get their top-up. 

Holetschek recommended that vaccination centres and doctors in private practices first concentrate on people living in care facilities, because that’s where Covid vaccines were first given out at the end of 2020. 

He added that any employees of these facilities who have not yet received a jab can also get their vaccinations without red tape.

The additional jabs will be one of the two mRNA vaccines – Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna. The booster jabs are entirely optional for everyone. 

People who were given a vector vaccine – that’s AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson – will also be eligible for a booster shot. But they also have to wait for the six-month interval to pass before they can receive it.

Holetschek stressed the importance of continuing with the first and second doses to get as many people vaccinated as possible.

“The booster vaccinations will not be at the expense of first and second vaccinations. We have enough vaccine. First vaccinations continue to have the highest priority,” he said. 

Vocabulary

Booster vaccinations – (die) Auffrischungsimpfungen

People with immune deficiencies – Menschen mit Immunschwäche

Protection – (der) Schutz 

Prerequisite – (die) Voraussetzung 

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