Bonn As the vaccination center in the WCCB prepares for closing at the beginning of September, a private initiative is getting ready to open a vaccination site at the Telekom Dome. Appointments can be booked online.
More than 500 people per day should be able to receive a Covid-19 vaccine in the Telekom Dome. The service will initially start on Tuesday and Wednesday. Due to a lack of vaccines, however, there will be a brief interruption in service after that. "As soon as we start receiving allocations again, there will be more and perhaps even larger (vaccination) initiatives,” said the Bonn doctor Philipp Klassen, who is responsible for the vaccinations. That should be the case the week after next, when they expect supplies to arrive from Biontech. Meanwhile, the city is preparing to move the vaccination center out of the WCCB, and it is scheduled to close completely at the beginning of September.
Currently, the vaccination center in the WCCB is the place in Bonn where most people are immunized. Up to 1,900 people receive a shot there every day. But even when it was first set up in December of 2020, the city of Bonn said it would need the rooms in the WCCB back at the beginning of September due to scheduled events.
Before the immunization center completely moves out of the WCCB, services will be relocated to the Plenary Hall building. Starting at the end of July, second vaccine shots will be given in the Rhine-side of that building. According to city deputy spokesman Marc Hoffman, restrictions on vaccinations are not to be expected. "The effort is manageable, and the move has already been planned with everyone involved. The setup will take place in parallel with vaccination operations in the main building.”
This makes it all the more important that many people receive their immunizations in other places. Sandro Heinemann of Rheinevents, which already operates several Covid-19 test centers in Bonn and throughout Germany, had already suggested a privately organized vaccination center to the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians North Rhine (KVNO) in March. "It cannot be called a vaccination center, because only the municipalities are allowed to do that," Heinemann explains
Originally, the vaccination site was to open in the Brückenforum, but there are now more events there again. The foyer of the Telekom Dome, on the other hand, will remain empty for the foreseeable future. BonBas GmbH, which owns and operates the hall, rents out the space. The location "near the Bonn-Hardtberg highway exit" is ideal, says Managing Director Wolfgang Wiedlich. Besides that, there are also a sufficient number of parking spaces.
Where you can make an appointment
Anyone can book a vaccine appointment via the online portal https://vivenu.com. Ten-minute time slots are available for selection. As at the vaccination center in the WCCB, forms must be filled out and ID, vaccination certificate and health insurance card must be brought along. On site, the documents are checked, a doctor explains the risks of the vaccination, then a medical assistant gives the shot. One day later, the patient receives an e-mail through which he or she can book the second appointment after six, nine or twelve weeks (at the moment only for Astrazeneca since it is the only vaccine currently available). Theoretically, one can get the second vaccine after only four weeks, but Philipp Klassen doesn't think that's the right thing to do: "Studies show that there is significantly worse vaccination protection then.”
Legally, the vaccination site at the Dome is an extension of the family practice of Peter-Martin Klassen in Südstadt, who will hand over the business to his successor Miriam Hepner-Textor in July. His son Philipp Klassen also works there and is responsible for the vaccination site. He had ordered the 1,000 doses of Astrazeneca for next week some time ago. "There was a phase when Astrazeneca was widely available. That's when I secured a larger quantity," he says.
According to Heinemann, there have been no major alterations to the foyer. In addition to the legal component - a doctor is not allowed to simply open an additional practice, the KV has to sign off on it - logistics are a challenge, he says. "We don't want to cause 200-meter-long lines," Heinemann says. He believes the same high standard found at the Bonn vaccination center can be achieved with slightly fewer staff.
The city is not involved with the vaccination site in the Telekom Dome. "In principle, the public health department welcomes when physicians in private practice administer vaccines in order to provide vaccinations to all those who want to be vaccinated," says Hoffmann. Once the vaccination centers are closed, administering vaccines will be concentrated in private practices anyway. "If there is a need for the city to provide support to those in private practice, we will respond in a solution-oriented way.”
At this time, there is not enough vaccine to serve more people through the private practices. But Heinemann said they received confirmation on Friday that larger quantities of Biontech will be delivered to the vaccination site in the next two weeks. "This will then allow us to plan larger vaccination campaigns, on more days. The 500 vaccinations (per day) is also rather pessimistic in the initial phase just to give us the chance to test out the system.“