Vaccinations are of particular importance to the health of individuals and the entire population. If many people get vaccinated, it is possible to eliminate individual pathogens regionally and eventually eradicate them worldwide. In Germany, however, there is no compulsory vaccination. The Standing Vaccination Commission - abbreviated STIKO consists of 16 experts appointed by the Federal Minister of Health. These meet twice a year to look at the health policy issues related to vaccines and infectious diseases and to issue guidelines. The STIKO is based at the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin. The members of the commission are appointed to their voluntary work for three years each.
The STIKO recommendations are the most important source of information for the vaccine doctors and reflect the latest scientific findings. A distinction is made between two vaccinations:
- Standard vaccinations. These vaccinations, which, with very rare exceptions, should be made by everyone, serve the individual protection and health of the population. The best-known standard vaccines include tetanus, diphtheria and polio.
- Indication vaccinations for certain groups of people with increased risk. The indication may relate to occupational exposure, risk of infection within at risk groups, contact with a pathogen or contact with diseased persons. One example is the TBE vaccination for forest workers to protect against tick-borne tick-borne encephalitis. However, this also includes travel vaccinations that are prescribed by international regulations (yellow fever), national entry regulations or are used for personal protection of the traveler.
Vaccination recommendations are a matter of country
The recommendations of the STIKO serve the federal states as a template for their own public vaccination recommendations. In fact, they become legally effective only when they have been included in the individual federal states by the highest state health authorities in their "public recommendations". Which vaccination recommendations are valid in your state, you will find out, for example: B. at the health department.