Vaccination Rate and Herd Immunity in Germany

Facing the ongoing challenges related to the Coronavirus, issues like vaccinations and herd immunity are in the center of public attention. Governments and citizens in every single country expect significant loosening of the measures after vaccination big parts of their population and therefore a step-by-step return to a more or less normal life. One of the keys for the level of liberalization is the required percentage for reaching a herd immunity, which means the immunization of the vast majority of the population in a country. Naturally, the citizens of each particular country, especially the high-risk groups among them, get to enjoy the vaccinations first, the steps and formal processes are of high interest for our foreign students as well. This article aims to clarify the current situation in Germany regarding vaccines and herd immunity.

Vaccination Rate and Herd Immunity in Germany

Herd Immunity

Vaccinations against Covid-19 have been going on in Germany since December 2020. At the moment, the rate for fully vaccinated people is at a little bit over 20% of our population. About 45% of the German people have currently received their first shot (Status 07.06.2021). In order to reach herd immunity, a presumed 70 to 90% of the population needs to get fully vaccinated. Normally, there are two shots necessary to reach full protection through a vaccine of a particular manufacturer, given with a specific time frame between the first and second shot.

The German government expects another 69.1 million vaccines from their orders for the second quarter of 2021. Out of those, 10.1 million are Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which in contrast to most other manufacturers only need to be given once in order to be fully effective.

It is the German government’s declared goal to reach the percentage of fully vaccinated people necessary for herd immunization among the German population until the beginning of fall, that is September 21st, 2021. This would mean that by the start date of our fulltime programs herd immunity in Germany is very realistic.

Vaccination Rate

There are about 650.000 vaccinations against Covid-19 given in Germany every day, that corresponds to about eight people per second. Thus, more than 35 million people have been vaccinated against Corona up until this point, the share of people who have received their first injection being significantly higher than the one of people who are fully vaccinated. The second shot follows between two and up to eight weeks after the first, depending on the manufacturer. The vaccination rate of those who have received their first dose, is a lot higher in general and is currently at about 45% in Germany. Since two injections are required for most of the vaccines, this rate of people with their first shot cannot tell us much about the level of herd immunization already achieved. The rate of fully vaccinated people (two shots) is 20,5% (07.06.21). Our home state Bremen ranks on number three among all German states and can present a vaccination rate of 24,1% at this moment. For further information on actual numbers and statistics related to vaccines, please refer to the website of the Robert-Koch-Institute and the vaccination dashboard of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Options for Vaccinations for Foreign Students

Vaccinations in Germany are carried out by vaccination centers specifically installed for this purpose, mobile vaccination stations, authorized doctor’s offices and authorized specialists for occupational medicine. At the moment we do not yet have all the information about the vaccination process for international students arriving in Germany in the fall. As soon as we have all the corresponding information we will make it available on our website and in our Social Media.