Vaccination in the EU: This is how our neighboring countries boost

Paris, Rome, London, Athens By the end of the year, 20 to 25 million people in Germany are to receive a booster vaccination – this is the goal set by the Federal Ministry of Health. In other European countries, too, the governments are relying on a third dose of vaccine in view of the sharp rise in the number of infections in the pandemic.

As in Germany, who can get a booster often depends on age and risk group. In some countries such as France, seniors will in future only be considered fully vaccinated if they have received a booster of their vaccination protection.

The EU disease protection authority ECDC points out that the third dose is not urgently necessary for all people. “It is important to distinguish between booster doses for people with normal immune systems and additional doses for those with weaker immune systems.”

The European drug agency Ema released the preparations from Moderna and Biontech / Pfizer for booster use in people over the age of 18 in October. In the end, however, it is up to the individual states how they proceed with the boosting of vaccination protection. Five examples from Europe:

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France: Health pass for the elderly only for three doses

Emmanuel Macron urged the French to vaccinate again in a televised address on November 9th. He also announced: For people over 65 years of age, the health card is only valid from December 15 if they have received a third dose. The document must be shown in restaurants, bars or trains.

So far, only seniors over 65 years of age have been given a booster appointment. From the beginning of December, the booster vaccinations are also to be opened for people between 50 and 64 years of age if the last dose was more than six months ago. For this age group, there are currently no plans to link the validity of the health pass to a vaccination booster.

In exceptional cases, for example with previous illnesses, even younger people can be vaccinated a third time. According to the French authorities, 8.4 percent of the population over the age of twelve have received an additional dose. For the refresher, the French can go to the doctor’s office, pharmacy or vaccination center.

Italy plans booster compulsory in health care

Italy is planning a mandatory booster in the health sector. Only those who have proof of a third dose should be allowed to continue working in hospitals and old people’s homes. The government apparently wants to give the employees a month for the booster shot, after which sanctions are threatened: Those who refuse will be suspended from work without a salary.

Italy had already introduced the strict corona vaccination requirement for doctors and nurses in April, as of today, more than 98 percent of the staff are vaccinated. But only around half have had the third dose administered so far.

The boosters have been released for a few weeks. Priority for health workers, but also for people with previous illnesses and all citizens over 60 years of age whose second vaccination was at least six months ago. Even those who have only received a single vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can make an appointment. Some regions are already vaccinating 40 to 60 year olds for the third time. This should be possible throughout Italy from December 1st.

The “Green Pass”, as the Corona certificate is called here, should only be valid for nine months after the last vaccination. So far, the proof that you need in Italy for all public life and in the world of work was valid for twelve months from the last vaccination.

Greece: Eleven percent of those vaccinated have already been boosted

In Greece, people over 60 years of age will lose their vaccination certificate if they do not get a boost no later than seven months after the second vaccination. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced this in a televised address on Thursday evening.

Mitsotakis announced that he would write to the EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to introduce this regulation across the EU and to change the rules for the EU vaccination certificate accordingly. “This is the only way we will be able to celebrate a better Christmas,” said Mitsotakis in his TV message.

The Greek government is increasing the vaccination pressure: As the prime minister announced, from Monday you can only enter public spaces such as cinemas, theaters, sports halls and hairdressers with a valid vaccination certificate.

In Greece, anyone over the age of 18 can get the third dose, provided that at least six months have passed since the second vaccination. A two-month period applies to individuals vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

So far, a good eleven percent of those who had completed a corona vaccination have already received the third dose. The authorized persons are automatically requested by SMS to register on a website for an appointment for the booster vaccination. Mitsotakis ended his televised address with the appeal: “Get vaccinated, vaccinated, vaccinated!”

Great Britain: 80 percent of the population already vaccinated

In Great Britain, 80 percent of the population over the age of twelve are now fully vaccinated, and 23 percent have already received a booster shot. So far, only those over 50 have been able to get the third vaccination.

As of this week, everyone over the age of 40 is called upon to take a booster as soon as their second dose has been six months. At the same time, young people should now also pick up their second dose. So far, the state health care system NHS had only considered one dose for the minors to be sufficient.

In the fight against Corona, the British government relies exclusively on vaccination and immunization from an illness that has been overcome. All rules of conduct and contact restrictions have been lifted since July. Many British people no longer wear a mask even indoors or on the subway.

Spain: Booster campaign started early

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced this week that the third dose of the vaccine will be open to everyone over 60 years of age. In addition, health care workers are to receive increased vaccination protection.

Previously, the age limit for the booster campaign launched last month was 70 years. People from certain risk groups, such as cancer patients, could receive a booster vaccination regardless of their age.

More: Expensive tests and restrictions – these rules apply to unvaccinated people in other countries.

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