The groups are split into four, and depend on people’s risk of developing serious coronavirus symptoms, their age, and their exposure to infection at work.
If you are looking for a breakdown of who belongs to which priority group and when roughly these groups will be inoculated, please read our article on that subject HERE.
Complicating matters is the fact that vaccination programmes are carried out on the state level, meaning that they are being conducted at different speeds and the rules for how to apply for a jab are different from state to state.
“The one recommendation that I can give is that people ought to inquire with the health authorities in their home states,” Tanja Hinzmann from the National Doctor’s Association (KBV) told the Local Germany.
“There is really no general advice that one can give for the whole country. In Berlin for example, rather than you applying for an appointment yourself, the city informs you directly,” she points out.
Most states require you to book your appointment yourself. Several, including Bavaria, Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony opened up appointments for people in priority group 2 in early March. Other states are following.
Priority group 2 includes people aged 70-79, people with serious pre-existing conditions, as well as primary school teachers, riot police and people who have contact with pregnant women. See the full list here.
There are four ways of proving that you belong to this priority group.
If you fall into this category due to your age, then all you need is an official document that proves your age. The most logical document to use here is your passport, but if you have a German ID card you can use that too.
In most states, the health authority will write to you to inform you that you can apply for an appointment. The appointment can be made online or via a local hotline. Contact information for North Rhine Westphalia for example can be found here.
If you belong to priority group 2 because you have a medical condition then in most states you need to provide a document that has been signed by your doctor.
The federal states have their own documents for this purpose. As an example, the form used in Schleswig Holstein can be found here.
Generally the forms will be published by state health ministries and will mention the German phrase “Erkrangungsnachweis zur Priorisierten Sars-Cov2-Schutzimpfung” (proof of illness for prioritised Sars Cov2 vaccination).
If you have not yet registered with a German GP, then now is the time to do so. Your GP will be able to decide whether you need to request your medical records from your last GP, or what other steps you now need to take.
In Bavaria, you need to send in a form filled out by your GP to the state vaccine commission before you receive an appointment. The vaccine commission will consider your application and then inform you that you can apply for an appointment.
But this route of receiving a certificate from the doctor doesn’t apply everywhere.
In Berlin, for example, the state administration contacts people directly when it is their turn to have a vaccine. They obtain information on people with pre-existing illnesses from the health insurers.
“This is obviously a problem if you haven’t yet registered with a doctor, as the health insurer won’t have your medical records,” says Hinzmann. “In this case, it is a blind spot in the system.”
The Berlin Senate did not immediately reply to a request from the Local for clarity on this issue.
Contact for person in home care or pregnant woman
In the second priority group, two contact people for someone in home care or a pregnant woman are entitled to a vaccination.
Again, there is a process for proving that this applies to you. You and the person you are caring for, or the pregnant person, will both need to sign a form naming you as a contact person. Here is the document in Rhineland-Palatinate.
Most states will also require you to bring a copy of their identification document, as well as yours, to your vaccination appointment.
Some states have stricter requirements than others on the form of identification you need to bring. For example Schleswig-Holstein requires copies of both sides of your support person’s ID card.
So again, it’s really important to get the right information from your local health authority.
Professional qualification for vaccination
The second priority group contains a list of professions who are entitled to vaccinations, including primary school teachers, special needs teachers and pre-school teachers.
There is a separate form to be filled out for people who qualify in this category. The form needs to be signed off at your place of work. You should enquire with your employer about having the form completed.
Depending on the state you live in, you might still need to apply for the appointment yourself though. Again, the best thing to do is contact your local health authority for further information.
You can find your local government here by entering your postcode.
Please keep in mind that this article, as with all of our guides, are to provide assistance only. They are not intended to take the place of official legal advice.