New STIKO vaccination recommendations with several adjustments

New STIKO vaccination recommendations with several adjustments

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Changed vaccination recommendations for hepatitis A and B, influenza and tetanus.
Vaccinations are an extremely effective remedy for various viral infections. Which vaccinations are advisable is determined in Germany by the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Your vaccination recommendations are updated annually to take account of current developments and knowledge. The new vaccination recommendations published now show, for example, changes in vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, against influenza and against tetanus.

The new STIKO vaccination recommendations have been published in the RKI's Epidemiological Bulletin 34 and there are some changes, especially with regard to the number of people and the intervals between vaccinations. Newly recommended vaccinations have not been added. However, a section on vaccinations in patients with weakened immune systems has been added. STIKO also explains why vaccination against herpes zoster (with a live vaccine) is not currently recommended as a standard vaccine.

Few adjustments in the current recommendations
The STIKO vaccination recommendations form the guideline for the use of protective vaccination in Germany, even if there has so far been no obligation to comply with this recommendation. In the course of the annual update of the vaccination recommendations, the latest knowledge and developments are implemented, which can bring about major changes. However, the new vaccination recommendations published now contain only a few adjustments, which primarily relate to vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, influenza and tetanus.

Hepatitis vaccinations are advised for a larger group of people
For vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, STIKO has adjusted the group of people to whom these vaccinations are recommended. From now on, volunteers for whom there is an exposure risk comparable to that of professionals should also be taken into account. Furthermore, trainees, students and interns are now explicitly mentioned in these areas. "STIKO is thus making it clear that the indication for vaccination should be assessed on the basis of the exposure risk actually associated with the respective activity and is not restricted to certain professional groups," said the RKI.

Adapted recommendation for influenza vaccination in children
Last year, STIKO had already suspended its recommendations on preferred influenza vaccination in children aged two to six years using a live vaccine administered through the nose. Now this recommendation has been finally withdrawn, because according to STIKO "in the past few years, no superior efficacy has been demonstrated compared to the inactivated vaccines."

Tetanus: booster shot after ten years
For the tetanus vaccination, the period between booster vaccinations has been adjusted in the current vaccination recommendations. It was only in 2016 that STIKO spoke out in favor of reducing the deadline from ten to five years, which is now being withdrawn. "STIKO only recommends a booster vaccination against tetanus for minor, clean wounds if more than ten years have passed since the last vaccination," reports the RKI. This is also in line with the recommendation that the tetanus vaccination protection should be refreshed routinely every ten years.

Vaccination recommendations for people with weak immune systems
A newly inserted section on vaccinations in patients with immunodeficiency or immunosuppression has a rather editorial character. Under the leadership of STIKO, detailed application instructions for vaccinations in patients with immunodeficiency or immunosuppression are currently being developed, which should appear in four separate publications in the Federal Health Gazette by early 2018, according to the RKI.

Herpes vaccination is not recommended as a standard vaccination
STIKO also explains why it does not recommend vaccination with a live attenuated vaccine to prevent herpes zoster (HZ) or nerve pain caused by HZ (postherpetic neuralgia) as a standard vaccination. The decision was based on the systematic evaluation of the data on the effectiveness, duration of protection and safety of the vaccine. For example, the likelihood of developing HZ and the severity of the disease increase with age, whereas the effectiveness of vaccination decreases with age. In addition, the period of protection of the vaccination was only proven for a few years. The decision was confirmed by a mathematical modeling of the expected epidemiological effects. (fp)

Author and source information

Video: Recommended Vaccines for Adults and Adolescents (July 2022).


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