After a corona vaccination, side effects can occur, very rarely severe ones. A total of 253 such vaccination damages have now been officially recognized in Germany. How to apply for compensation, what those affected need to know and what that means for vaccinations.

Almost three years ago to the day, the first corona infection was reported in Germany. Countless infections, several lockdowns and finally vaccinations followed. Over 192 million doses have been administered, and 63.6 million people are primary immunized with it.

If there is damage to health after a corona vaccination, those affected are entitled to compensation, as stated in the Infection Protection Act.

According to a report by “Welt am Sonntag” (WamS), around 6,000 applications for financial aid due to serious damage to health as a result of a corona vaccination have been made so far. Only a fraction, namely 253, were approved. 1808 applications were therefore rejected, 3968 more are still being processed.

Answers to the most pressing questions.

In Germany, the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) monitors the safety of vaccines. Those who have been vaccinated, but also members and employees of the healthcare system can report side effects on the PEI reporting portal or the new smartphone app ” SafeVac2.0 “. Doctors are also obliged to report suspected cases to the PEI and the competent state authority.

Two university hospitals in Germany are also currently taking suspected cases that have developed inexplicable symptoms after a corona vaccination: the Charité in Berlin and the university hospital in Marburg.

The PEI was most frequently reported of temporary, so-called vaccination reactions. These include

They are usually an expression of the reaction of the immune system to the vaccination and subside after a few days.

Other side effects or vaccination complications were reported to the PEI

“rare” reported, including cases of

A side effect is considered rare if it occurs at most once in 1000 vaccinations.

” very rarely ” reported, including cases of

A side effect is considered very rare if it occurs at most once in 10,000 vaccinations.

The PEI describes heart muscle (myocarditis) and pericarditis (pericarditis) as the “most important, very rare serious side effects” of the two mRNA vaccines from Biontech-Pfizer and Moderna. Young men and male adolescents are particularly affected. The cases were more common with Moderna’s vaccine, according to research, which is why Stiko recommends Biontech’s vaccine for people under 30 years of age. Sinus vein thrombosis, which is a blockage in certain blood vessels in the brain, has been observed, particularly after vaccination with AstraZeneca. The PEI then suspended the vaccinations without further ado, and later the Stiko recommended vaccination only for people over 60 years of age. The vaccine has not been administered in Germany since 2022, even if the European Medicines Agency EMA continues to classify it as safe.

The PEI also evaluated reports on chronic fatigue syndrome and long-Covid-like complaints and compared them with international reports from the EMA. So far, this has “not resulted in a risk signal”. The same applies to suspected cases of menstrual disorders in women and seizures.

In 120 deaths, the PEI initially observed a “probable or possible causal connection” with the administration of the respective corona vaccine. However: “A comparison with the statistically random number of deaths to be expected in the same period (data from the Federal Statistical Office) did not result in a risk signal for any of the five approved Covid-19 vaccines in accordance with literature data,” says the PEI.

A list of other possible side effects of the PEI can be found here.

Assessment of the virologist Friedemann Weber: “Myocarditis/pericarditis with mRNA vaccines as well as sinus vein thrombosis and Guillain-Barré syndrome with vector vaccines against Sars-CoV-2 are known to be very rare complications. In principle, such cases are therefore quite plausible. ”They could potentially be recognized accordingly, according to the virologist. “As far as I know, no causal connection has been established in the case of deaths after vaccination.”

Anyone who suffers vaccination damage as a result of a publicly recommended vaccination is entitled to compensation. This is expressly regulated in the Infection Protection Act. Vaccination damage is defined as “the health and economic consequences of damage to health caused by the vaccination that goes beyond the usual extent of a vaccination reaction”.

The pension office in the respective federal state checks whether those affected receive compensation. Those affected must also submit an application here. Specifically, the following are:

If the application is rejected, those affected can go to a social court.

Note: The health department can offer help in initiating the compensation process. RKI and PEI are not responsible.

According to the WamS report, myocarditis, sinus vein thrombosis and Guillain-Barré syndrome were predominantly recognized. There are also occasional deaths.

According to a nationwide survey by “Welt am Sonntag” (WamS), the front-runners are the pension offices of the states of Bavaria with 61 and North Rhine-Westphalia with 38 approved applications. Bremen is at the bottom with no recognition.

It is not possible to say in general terms how high a compensation payment is. The amount depends on the individual extent of the damage and its health and economic consequences.

According to “WamS”, those affected are entitled to a lifelong basic pension of between 164 and 854 euros per month from a certain degree of damage. If necessary, the state will cover the costs of treatment and pay compensation for professional injuries. In Hesse, for example, people with recognized vaccination damage received an average of 1,395 euros per month in 2021.

In extreme cases, the monthly total can be up to 15,000 euros. According to “WamS”, the surviving dependents of those who have been vaccinated are also entitled to state benefits as well as burial and death benefits. The countries bear the costs.

Measured by the number of doses administered, applications for recognition of vaccine damage are rare. According to the RKI, around 192 million corona vaccinations were administered in Germany by the beginning of the year. 63.6 million people are thus basic immunized.

According to the “WamS” report, 253 applications for compensation were approved, 1808 applications were rejected and 3968 more are still being processed. That makes a total of 6029 applications.

Approved compensation payments have no effect on the vaccines. Safety assessment and verification is the responsibility of the responsible health authorities. In Europe, for example, the European Medicines Agency EMA continuously checks the safety of approved vaccines, even after they have been approved.

Virologist Weber also emphasizes: “The complications are very rare and occur much more frequently after infection with Sars-CoV-2. The infection also has a number of other risks including long-Covid or death.”