German vaccine panel recommends boosters for children over 12

A young person with a plaster after a Covid jab in Berlin.
A young person with a plaster after a Covid jab in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Fabian Sommer
The German Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) recommends that young people aged 12-17 in Germany receive a Covid booster jab.

STIKO had been recommending that only people over the age of 18 receive a booster vaccination. 

However, German states had been handling booster shots for young people differently. Some have already been allowing young people aged 12 and over to get the top-up jab

At the end of December, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) clarified that children and young people between 12 and 17 should be allowed booster vaccinations “regardless of the recommendations” of STIKO.

Experts say a booster vaccination tops up immunity and improves protection in view of the Omicron variant.

The vaccine committee now recommends a booster jab for 12-17-year-olds with the mRNA vaccine Comirnaty from BioNTech/Pfizer “in the age-appropriate dosage”, and at least three months after the previous vaccination, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced on Thursday.

The draft decision still has to go through a review procedure with the federal states and experts.

Lauterbach welcomed the announcement from STIKO.

“Now all young people and their parents have certainty: boosters are also recommended for 12 to 17 year olds,” the SPD politician said.

On December 21st, STIKO advised that people in Germany should get a booster – or third jab – three months after their previous shot. 

Around 72.3 percent of the German population is fully vaccinated and about 45.1 percent have had boosters.

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