FACT CHECK: Does Germany No Longer Recommend COVID-19 Vaccines?
A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows Robert Koch Institute Director Stephan Kohn announcing Germany no longer recommends COVID-19 vaccines.
Germany has not suspended the use of COVID-19 vaccines. The country recommends that everyone over the age of 18 get a COVID-19 vaccine booster.
Germany began administering Omicron-adapted COVID-19 booster vaccines earlier in September, according to Reuters. Demand for booster vaccinations against the virus has been lower than expected, the outlet reported.
The Facebook video shows a man identified as Stephan Kohn, the Director of the Robert Koch Institute, saying there is a “moratorium” on COVID-19 vaccines.
“BREAKING NEWS — GERMANY HALTS ALL C19 VACCINES, THEY ARE UNSAFE AND NO LONGER RECOMMENDED,” the post’s caption reads. “NO ONE CAN GET IT & the vaccine license has been put on pause!!”
The claim is baseless. The German government’s website, citing the Standing Commission on Vaccination (STIKO), continues to recommend that everyone over the age of 18 receive a COVID-19 booster. The German Federal Institute for Vaccines and Biomedicines also continues to list COVID-19 vaccines as authorized. There are no credible news reports suggesting the vaccines have been banned.
A spokesperson for the Federal Health Ministry told The Associated Press that “Germany has not banned or paused the COVID-19 vaccinations” and would also receive millions more doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. (RELATED: Did Pfizer Create A COVID-19 Vaccine ‘Vaporizer Cartridge’?)
The video also does not show the actual Robert Koch Institute director. Instead, the clip is from an August 2021 pandemic exercise that shows a “crisis team of a fictitious German government” that simulated a fourth COVID wave and supply chain interruptions among other scenarios. None of the people in the simulation are part of the institute.
German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach touted vaccination as a way to help prevent long-term lasting effects of COVID-19 in a Sept. 13 tweet.
— Prof. Karl Lauterbach (@Karl_Lauterbach) September 14, 2022
“Vaccinations prevent according to the current state of science #LongCovid. Better BA.5 vaccination than BA.5 infection,” a translation of the tweet reads.
This is not the first time that a false claim regarding Germany’s COVID-19 vaccination use has viral. Check Your Fact debunked a post that claimed Germany had “halted” the administration of COVID-19 vaccines in September 2021.