Düsseldorf Next week, doctors' offices will receive two million vaccination doses - significantly more than planned. Astrezeneca will no longer be supplied. Thanks to family doctors, the campaign is moving forward: In NRW, one in five people has now been vaccinated once.
With the involvement of primary care physicians, the vaccination campaign is now really taking off: In North Rhine-Westphalia, one in five has now received a first vaccination. With a vaccination rate of 20.4 percent, the state is ahead of Bavaria (20.3 percent) and above the national average (19.8 percent). NRW has therefore made good progress after a poor start. It is still below average in terms of second vaccinations: here, only 6.5 percent have been vaccinated twice. In Bavaria, the figure is 6.7 percent, and the national average is 6.6 percent.
What is the next step in GP practices?
Already in the next few weeks, family doctors nationwide are to receive 500,000 more vaccination doses than planned. "Due to the higher delivery volume, contract physicians can now order 24 to 48 doses for the week of April 26 to May 2," according to a message sent to practices by the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV). In addition, practices will receive only the Biontech vaccine, which - unlike Astrazeneca's - is recommended for all adults. "The federal government will provide practices with only the Biontech-Pfizer vaccine for the week of April 26-May 2, but at two million doses, it will be significantly more than previously advised." Originally, only 1.5 million doses were to go to practices in the last week of April - three-quarters from Biontech and one-quarter from Astrazeneca. The North Rhine Pharmacists' Association welcomes this, saying, "This will significantly accelerate the vaccination campaign in family practices. The well-established vaccine from Biontech-Pfizer ensures faster processes because a lot of consultation time is eliminated," said association head Thomas Preis. "Physicians and pharmacies are indeed burdened by so many last-minute changes. But if it speeds up the vaccination campaign, it's time well spent." Practices have until Tuesday to order for next week.
What about prioritization?
Vaccination centers and physicians still have to comply. KBV head Andreas Gassen assumes, however, that in May also the prioritization will gradually fall and then every adult can get a vaccination. Thomas Preis is also confident: "The goal that everyone will have received at least one vaccination by the summer is thus becoming increasingly likely, especially since Biontech has announced that it will once again significantly increase the number of doses delivered in June.“
When do farms vaccinate?
Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said it would be possible to "integrate company doctors into the vaccination campaign as early as June." Additional deliveries will help the campaign gain speed in the second quarter, he added. Biontech plans to deliver 50.3 million doses to Germany in the second quarter, while Moderna will deliver 6.4 million doses. Tübingen-based manufacturer Curevac is also counting on approval and the start of deliveries in June, when it plans to ship 1.4 million doses to Germany. Like Biontech and Moderna, Curevac produces an mRNA vaccine. The vaccine is well suited for occupational physicians and medical practices because it can be stored in the refrigerator for weeks.
What's next for the Johnson & Johnson's vaccine?
The EU and U.S. drug regulators will decide this week what to do about the cases of thrombosis that have occurred sporadically in women under 60 years of age following administration of the J & J vaccine. The advantage of this vaccine is that it requires only one dose. NRW therefore plans to use it initially in housing and homeless services once it is approved. "Here, the greatest uncertainties exist in ensuring the second vaccinations after six and twelve weeks, respectively," reads a response from the state government to a Green Party question.
(Original text: Antje Höning,Translation: Mareike Graepel)