The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus continues to circulate in the population, but severe courses have become significantly rarer due to the basic immunity achieved. The aim of the STIKO (Ständige Impfkommission / Permanent Vaccination Commission) recommendation for COVID-19 vaccination, which has been part of the general vaccination recommendations since the end of May 2023, is still to prevent severe COVID-19 courses, to reduce possible long-term consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infections in the entire population as far as possible, and to protect employees in medical and nursing care from SARS-CoV-2 infections.
For healthy children and adolescents under 18 years of age, the STIKO no longer recommends COVID-19 vaccination due to the rarity of severe courses. For all 18- to 59-year-olds without underlying diseases, including pregnant women, the STIKO recommends basic immunity, consisting of at least two vaccinations and one additional antigen contact (vaccination or infection). In addition to basic immunity, the STIKO recommends annual booster vaccination for persons with an increased risk of severe disease progression (persons aged 60 and over, persons aged 6 months and over with relevant underlying diseases, residents of care facilities) and Persons with an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection (medical and nursing staff).
In general, vaccinations against the coronavirus are available in doctors' surgeries and some pharmacies. Further information on the coronavirus vaccination is available here on the City of Essen website (German).