Vaccinations in refugee shelters: current status, demands and information

Information collected from the Refugee Council of Saxony-Anhalt

According to the CoronaImpfV, people who are accommodated or who work in collective accommodation and initial reception facilities belong to prioritization group 2.

Theoretically, they can be vaccinated against the coronavirus since the end of February.

Due to the cramped living conditions, they are exposed to an increased risk of contracting Covid-19 or even dying, according to the results of the Competence Network Public Health COVID-19 in a drastic way. The particularly precarious situation of this group of people is that they have no freedom of choice about where they live. You are forced to live in a confined space with many other people, usually without any alternative.

Great efforts are being made across the country to offer vaccinations to as many people as possible. A query of the refugee council in the state and among the rural districts and urban districts shows that very few have started vaccinating residents in communal accommodation.

Reception facilities in the country

According to information from the pandemic staff (as of 04/26/21) the vaccine from Johnson & amp; Use Johnson. A larger shipment of this vaccine is expected in the next few days, so that vaccination can begin soon.

The vaccinations should be carried out on site by mobile vaccination teams.

Clarification should be provided by the medicare team, social support and language mediators. The multilingual vaccination information sheets of the RKI are used.

It is said to be the vaccine from Johnson & amp; Johnson because it only needs to be vaccinated once and it is logistically easier when people are distributed to the communities after the initial vaccination. However, this vaccine is also the one with the least effectiveness and, according to the experience of other federal states, the already high skepticism among those affected is increased again.

In other federal states, such as Schleswig-Holstein or Lower Saxony, vaccinations with other vaccines have already started – Schleswig-Holstein has been vaccinating with the Biontech vaccine since the end of March.

Communal shared accommodation (GU) in the rural districts and urban districts

Not all of the districts / urban districts asked answered. We have the following answers (as of 04/19/21)


  • the district does not have any communal accommodation

Börde (as of April 9th):

  • Vaccination information for residents and employees has already taken place in several languages ​​
  • Mobile vaccination teams have already vaccinated all those willing to vaccinate at the locations
  • Clarification, advice and coordination took place in several languages ​​and partly in writing by social workers

Magdeburg (as of April 12th):

  • the staff is partially vaccinated
  • The plan is to use a mobile team.


  • has no shared accommodation

Stendal (as of April 12th):

  • No vaccinations in priority group yet.
  • It is not yet clear whether vaccination should take place through the use of vaccination teams, in the vaccination center in Stendal or by the family doctor.
  • The residents of the GU are informed by social workers. A vaccination instruction video and information documents from the Federal Ministry of Health are used in several languages.
  • Support is provided as required by the social workers of the GU.

Altmarkkreis Salzwedel (as of April 13th):

  • No vaccinations in priority group 2 yet
  • No use of mobile vaccination teams planned (except for limited mobile people in GUs)
  • Employees should be vaccinated first
  • Vaccination of residents at a central vaccination appointment in the city center
  • Vaccination appointments are made centrally via the portal of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians
  • Information only in German with reference to the RKI website for multilingual information
  • No further support services possible, advice should only be given when the vaccination appointment is collected (“information bundled”)

Wittenberg (as of April 14th):

  • Vaccinations have been organized since April
  • Employees are currently being vaccinated in the vaccination center, residents are expected to be vaccinated from May by a mobile vaccination team in the GUs on site.
  • Provision of information by social workers *, associations and initiatives support you in booking vaccination appointments
  • Use of an online video interpreting service (including sign language)
  • Travel expenses to the vaccination center are not covered

Conclusion and demands

The best protection against infection is and remains decentralized accommodation.

As long as the country, the rural districts and urban districts accommodate the people in large accommodation – in which it is impossible to keep your distance – they must also ensure that they receive the vaccine they are entitled to as soon as possible.

It must also be ensured that people can protect themselves appropriately, for example by regularly issuing FFP2 masks free of charge. Different treatment compared to other groups of people in priority group 2 is illegal, irresponsible and inhuman.


Experience from other federal states shows that there is great uncertainty among refugees and this can lead to less willingness to vaccinate. In order to counteract the uncertainty that is based on the opaque information situation, it is necessary that the refugees affected are given low-threshold, multilingual information (including on the side effects) of the vaccines. Furthermore, places to which you can address questions must be communicated. The information from Robert -Koch-Institut , which are often referred to, are relatively difficult to understand and may be difficult for many to understand.

The competent authorities must ensure that refugees have access to easily understandable, multilingual information that is made accessible to people in a variety of ways, including with the help of language mediation and confidants. This is the only way to build trust in the vaccinations and increase willingness to vaccinate. The provision of information must by no means be the responsibility of the social workers in the accommodations.

We have compiled multilingual information on our website.

In keeping with the topic, the ARD midday magazine on April 22nd. a report: Refugees disadvantaged by vaccinations (on the status of vaccinations and the particular risk of infection in large accommodations for refugees nationwide).

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