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Germany on Monday launched its autumn vaccination campaign to prevent respiratory infection, promoting an updated COVID-19 booster shot only for the elderly or for people at high disease risks.

Germany's public health body, the Robert Koch Institute, said that the country's vaccine advisory panel of independent experts, known as STIKO, reiterated its recommendation that booster shots beyond a standard COVID vaccination course should only given to certain at-risk groups.

"People from 60 years of age and at-risk groups should get vaccinated, the better even if an influenza shot can go with that," said health minister Karl Lauterbach, who is 60 and who got the new COVID shot himself on Monday.

With its choice to target only the elderly, at-risk or chronically ill people, residents of care homes, healthcare professionals and those in close contact with vulnerable people, Germany is broadly in line with other European countries, such as France, Italy or Britain.

Britain has prioritised those aged 75 years and over, residents in care homes and people who are immunosuppressed for the new shots. Head over to Medscape to read the full story.