Vaccination is considered the most important prevention measure as a protection from communicable diseases.

Vaccinations are not only supposed to reduce the risk of an infection for the vaccinated individual (individual immunity), but also to indirectly protect from an infection of unvaccinated people (herd immunity) by inhibiting the pathogen from spreading through the population.

The German Standing Committee on Vaccination (Ständige Impfkommission – STIKO) publishes recommendations for the implementation of vaccinations at regular intervals. Within the frame of a vaccination calendar it stipulates, which demographic groups should receive the vaccinations at which point in time and in which intervals. The vaccination calendar is currently available in 20 languages (link to vaccination calendar).


The following fact boxes will help you weigh the benefits and harms of vaccinations.