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Who should get the vaccine?

Consumer tip SR 3: Influenza injection

Audio (SR 3, Sarah Sassou, 09/10/2019, Length: 06:49 min.)

Consumer tip SR 3: Influenza injection

The Standing Committee on Vaccinations (STKO) recommends influenza vaccination for certain risk groups. People over the age of 60 are also included, because when the elderly are infected with the flu, they make the flu, the likelihood that the disease is stronger. It can even lead to pneumonia and heart problems. According to the Robert Koch Institute, the majority of flu deaths have been reported among the elderly.

Web Tip
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
on influenza and vaccination

Pregnant women and the chronically ill with a weakened immune system should be vaccinated because their immune system may not be able to cope with the right flu. Even those who have a lot of contact with the at-risk group, the vaccine should be perceived – including by parents or pregnant partners.

The flu vaccine is also recommended for medical staff in retirement homes and other health care providers so as not to infect their wards.

In younger people – including children – the flu usually works without any complications if the immune system is good. However, the Permanent Vaccination Commission says: There is nothing wrong with having everyone vaccinated.

Flu vaccine (Photo: SR)


Flu vaccines in Germany are called so-called dead vaccines. They consist of dead pathogens that can no longer multiply, or even their constituents.

Every year, the vaccine must be reworked because the flu virus is constantly changing. Exactly how the vaccine should be assembled is up to the World Health Organization. It evaluates global data to predict what types of viruses to treat in the current season.

The vaccination standard is a quadruple vaccine of 2018, that is, it contains four different strains of virus. Therefore, a better effect should be achieved against the different types of viruses circulating in season.

New vaccine protection every year

As the types of viruses are constantly changing and the vaccine usually needs to change, the flu vaccine needs to be repeated every year. But even in years where the composition of the vaccine has not changed compared to the previous year, STIKO recommends re-vaccination. As vaccine protection diminishes, vaccinations last longer. Within one season, however, no enhanced vaccination is required.