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Capacities not exhausted yet: Most Bonn company doctors to vaccinate from Wednesday

Capacities not exhausted yet : Most Bonn company doctors to vaccinate from Wednesday

In many companies, company doctors will begin vaccinations on Wednesday. Demand significantly exceeds the supply of vaccines. Not all companies yet know when their employees will get the coveted jab.

This Wednesday, many company doctors in Bonn will start vaccinating employees against the coronavirus. On Monday, the ordered vaccine had been delivered to the pharmacies, now it can find its way into the arms of the employees. This week, however, each company doctor will receive only 102 vaccine doses, and next week even fewer.

As a result, many companies that have been contacted are only vague about the number of vaccinations that will be administered this week. At Deutsche Telekom, a spokesperson explained, the company is still far from reaching the capacity limit of its 18 vaccination lines throughout Germany. In Bonn alone, the company could vaccinate 500 employees daily. The vaccinations will begin on Wednesday.

"Now is the right time"

The demand seems to be there: In an anonymous survey on the intranet, 20.000 employees reported back within a few days that they wanted to be vaccinated, according to the spokesman. "Employees are hopeful, they have waited a long time," the spokesperson said. "Now is the right time to involve company physicians. The workload limit in the practices has pretty much been reached." Thus, he said, the vaccination rate is being increased and responsibility for the vaccination campaign is being shared.

Within Deutsche Telekom, there is no prioritization; appointments can be booked via an online tool. Deutsche Post also does not provide for "person-based prioritization," but it will ensure that "employees in the operational area have at least equal access to company vaccination appointments."

When vaccination will take place at the Haribo plant in Bonn is still unclear

Other Bonn employers are having certain employees vaccinated earlier than others. At Sparkasse Köln Bonn, employees from branches have priority. At SGL Carbon, which makes carbon products in Bonn, the company doctor was able to vaccinate 45 employees as early as Tuesday, with more to follow on Thursday. "When it comes to the order, we try to consider first those colleagues who have to move around the plant comparatively often because of their job," a company spokesman explained. A mini-vaccination center has been set up. A total of around 250 employees have registered so far, he said. If the vaccine supply situation remains as it is, SGL Carbon would like to have all those registered vaccinated for the first time in about three to four weeks.

Haribo is prioritising employees in production, as "administrative staff can mainly work from home." At the Solingen site, the first vaccinations were also carried out on Tuesday. "When the colleagues in Bonn will receive an offer of vaccination, we can not say at this time," a spokeswoman said when asked. The decisive factor, she said, is how much vaccine is available in the next few weeks.

Despite home office for vaccination in the company

The availability of the vaccine does not increase because of the inclusion of company doctors says Bernd Witte. The managing director of the occupational medicine service provider BAD from Bonn nevertheless considers that the vaccine prioritization ceases is not a bad thing and that the vaccination can be delivered in companies.

The very high demand shows that this is an important and low-threshold offer. Younger employees in particular would otherwise have fewer opportunities to get to a vaccination appointment. In addition, the advice on questions is good, and the exchange with colleagues is also useful for the vaccination decision. The fact that many employees still work from home is not a problem, according to Witte. Despite the home office, the registration rates are "very, very high. In our experience, they are happy to come to the company for the vaccination“.

Original text: Fabian Schäfer
Translation: Mareike Graepel