Important Patient Information
Frequently Asked Questions
How safe is vaccination, also with regards to long-term consequences? Are there people with congenital heart defects who should rather not be vaccinated? Should children with severe congenital heart defects also be vaccinated?
You can find the answers here.
How effective and safe is Covid 19 vaccination with mRNA Vaccines?
Vaccination with mRNA vaccines and its booster three months after full vaccination protection also effectively protects against severe courses of disease caused by the delta and omicron variants of the Corona virus. Compared with the high risks of Corona infection, especially for those who have not been vaccinated or have not been fully vaccinated, the risks of vaccination from the age of five with the approved mRNA vaccines recommended by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and STIKO are vanishing small.collapse
Should children over the age of 5 also be vaccinated?
Yes. Since May 2022, the Ständige Impfkommission (STIKO) recommends vaccinating all children five years of age and older with the appropriately dosed mRNA vaccine Comirnaty from BioNTech.collapse
When is a booster vaccination advisable?
According to current data, the Ständige Impfstoffkommission (STIKO) recommends booster mRNA vaccination no earlier than three months after basic immunization. This also applies to children from 5 with previous illnesses.collapse
Should people who have recovered also be vaccinated?
Yes. Solid protection against an infection and severe disease can only be obtained after multiple exposures to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The Ständige Impfkommission (STIKO) therefore recommends vaccination even for convalescents, with an interval of at least three months from infection.collapse
Are vaccination side effects possible that only become apparent much later?
No. What is special about the mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) vaccine is that the body produces the immune response itself, so to speak. Unlike other vaccines, this vaccine does not contain attenuated viruses, but only a blueprint for the coronavirus spike protein, the component that the virus uses to dock to the surface of the body cell. The antibodies are formed against this protein. The mRNA only remains in the body for a maximum of 24 to 48 hours. Theoretically, a reaction could occur against the nano-lipid, the fatty envelope used to encapsulate the sensitive mRNA. But according to all the information available, this is also virtually impossible.collapse
Are there congenital heart defects that should rather not be vaccinated?
No, on the contrary. For unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated children, adolescents, and adults, the risks of Covid-19 infection are so high compared with the very rare side effects of mRNA vaccination, including myocarditis observed primarily in male patients, that protective vaccination is strongly advised. This is especially true for CHD patients with single-chamber hearts (Fontan circulation), severely reduced lung function (cyanosis), severe heart failure, severe pulmonary hypertension, after heart transplantation, and with chronic lung, liver, or kidney disease, immunodeficiency (including Di George syndrome, asplenia, trisomy 21), and with preexisting coronary artery disease.collapse
How high is the risk of severe Covid-19 disease in congenital heart disease patients?
Data collected worldwide show so far that covid-19 disease tends to be most severe when affected individuals also have other conditions, whereby children generally rarely have severe courses.
The strongest risk factors for a severe course were type 1 diabetes and congenital heart defects. The risk of Covid-19/SARS-CoV-2 infection also depends on the type of congenital heart defect.
As a general rule, vaccination is the best protection. Please be sure to consult with your treating pediatric cardiologist or GUCH specialist, especially if you or your child have not yet been vaccinated or have not been fully vaccinated.
For more information on this, as well as risk groups for congenital heart defects, click here.collapse
How high is the risk for my child with heart disease to develop Long Covid or PIMS?
The German Society for Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine (DGP) estimates that long covid affects around ten percent of all covid 19 sufferers. Intensive research is currently being conducted on the frequency and specific symptoms of long covid in children with congenital heart defects, as well as the risks for children of developing the disease. No conclusive data on this are yet available.
According to the current state of research, the risk for children to develop severe PIMS/MIS-C is very low. Details of the disease are still unclear. There is also still little reliable data on the incidence. According to the current state of research, the very rare cases can be treated well. In Germany, none of the affected children has died of PIMS. Despite a high cure rate, PIMS/MIS-C is a very serious complication with pronounced vascular inflammation throughout the body. Experts also strongly advise mRNA vaccination due to long covid and PIMS/MIS-C.collapse