At first, I would like to say that this is my personal experience which I’m sharing. I know the covid vaccination is a very sensitive topic for some people, but for those who are interested in getting vaccinated for summer, here’s a little run down on how the whole process works.
If you kept up to date with the vaccination process you probably already know that the vaccines “Astrazeneca” and “Johnson&Johnson” were made available for everyone on May 14th 2021. In comparison to those two “Vektor-Impfstoffe”, “BioNTech” and “Moderna”, which are mRna-vaccines, are still prioritized for special groups of people here in Schleswig-Holstein.
So, who is even entitled to a vaccination you might ask yourself now?
The answer is: anyone who lives or works in Germany or who is usually resident in Germany, regardless of their insurance coverage. The vaccine is free for everyone.
That sounds really good, right? Well, yes partially. To get vaccinated with the covid -19 vaccines BioNTech and Moderna you need to be in one of three priority groups (at least for now). Seeing as the number of available vaccines were limited to begin with, the German Federal Ministry of Health has appointed the Robert-Koch-Institut to organize a schedule of priority. Those priority groups are based off of certain people who have the highest risk of a very serious covid infection due to, for example, their age or pre-existing illnesses.
I will be only listing some of the groups of people who belong into the different priority groups. If you want more detailed information on the COVID vaccine and the priority groups please visit this website.
Group number 1 includes people with the highest priority (as set out in section 2 out of the “CoronaImpfV” German Covid-19 regulations). This group contains:
- people over 80 years old;
- People receiving treatment, support or care or working inpatient or partial inpatient in facilities for providing treatment or support, care for elderkly people;
- Healthcare workers with a very high risk of exposure to SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus.
Group 2 includes people with a higher priority (as set out in section 3 out of the “CoronaImpfV” German Covid-19 regulations. Those are:
- People between 70-80 years old;
- People with a high risk of developing serious or fatal complication following a SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus infection (such as: people with trisomy 21, people recovering from organ transplants, people with dementia, a mental disability or serious psychiatric illnesses, people with cancer that require treatment and so on.);
- Up to two close contacts of a person aged over 70 or a pregnant person
Group 3 includes people with high priority (as set out in section 4 out of the “CoronaImpfV” German Covid-19 regulations), which are:
- People between 60 and 70 years old;
- People with an increased risk of developing serious or fatal complications following infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (e.g., people with immune-deficiency conditions or HIV infections, people with bronchial asthma, cancer patients not undergoing treatment and so on);
- People working in food retail;
- People working in childcare, daycare etc.
Now, you might be wondering why I already had the chance to get vaccinated, but, no worries, I can tell you that I belong in group 2 with a higher priority. To get vaccinated it was super important to bring an informal doctor’s certificate (e.g., attesting the presence of a risk justifying my vaccination) to my vaccine appointment, so that the people working at the vaccination centers knew that I have the priority of getting vaccinated. Otherwise, they would have sent me back home.
How does the vaccination process work?
After I had my doctor’s certificate, I was lucky enough to be able to get vaccine appointments online on the website https://www.impfen-sh.de/sh/start/termine on the 20th of May. They added 75.000 new appointments that day, but there were about 500.000 people on the website which made me feel like I was buying concert tickets.
When it’s your turn on the website, you have to add your personal information such as your name, date of birth, the reason you’re qualified to get a vaccination and your e-mail address. After you added all those information, you get an e-mail to add more personal information like your address and then proceed to be able to book an appointment. Schleswig-Holstein has, all in all, 28 vaccination centers. Kiel was booked out very fast, so I decided to try my luck at the vaccination center in Gettorf, which, luckily, was a success.
After you finish booking your appointment, you automatically get your second vaccination appointment and will be send all documents via e-mail. After that, all you have to do is print everything out and fill out the forms for the vaccination center.
On the day of the appointment, you’ll need:
- your ID-card
- your vaccination card (if you don’t own one, that’s okay too)
- all the filled-out forms
- your doctor’s certificate
In my e-mail they specifically stated to be on time for my appointment, but not too early. When we arrived at the Gettorf Vaccination Center, we first had to sanitize our hands and let the people working there check our temperature. Then it was time to go inside and hand all our forms to the person working at the front, so they could make sure that everything was filled out. After that, another person prepared our vaccination cards with the stickers and then we were led separately into the room where the vaccination doctor was sitting. Here, you are given all the information necessary, but seeing as I had no further questions, I was ready for my vaccination. I went in another room, got vaccinated and that was it. So much excitement for the tiniest little prick into my arm.
After getting vaccinated, you go into another tent/room where you have to wait for 15 minutes so people can check in on how you’re feeling. And that’s it. Afterwards you can go back home.
All in all, I am really happy about being vaccinated. I really want to give people with any form of anxiety regarding vaccinations the information they need before getting vaccinated. It might sound scary, but it’s really a pretty quick process. I also didn’t have any negative side effects apart from my arm hurting like I just benched 20 kg’s more than I should have at the gym. Now I’m waiting for my second dose of the vaccine which I’ll get at the beginning of July.