Wachtberg The Wachtberger continue to wonder why Mayor Jörg Schmidt received a dose of the Biontech vaccine on January 2. Who ordered what during the vaccination campaign at the senior citizens' home? A search for clues.
What happened when and why during the vaccination campaign at the Berkumer Limbachstift? The emails that the GA is currently receiving revolve around these questions. Also in the social networks, the comments of those who can not understand why the mayor of Wachtberg, Jörg Schmidt (CDU), along with other employees in the city hall are already vaccinated. Especially since he says in a joint campaign by the district administrator and district mayors, "We'll get vaccinated as soon as it's our turn." Hennef's mayor Mario Dahm (SPD), however, had also been vaccinated with a residual dose in a home in his town.
Reason enough to describe how that January 2 event happened from the point of view of those involved. The highest decision-making level is the NRW Ministry of Health. It has determined that residual vaccine doses are to be offered to persons entitled to top-priority vaccination under Section 2 of the Coronavirus Vaccination Ordinance. "If there is a risk of expiry even after this approach has been exhausted, the coordinating unit of the local vaccination centers will decide on further use," ministry spokesman Carsten Duif said when asked. The municipalities have staffed the coordinating units differently, some with personnel from the crisis teams, the fire department or the health department, he said. "The crisis team of the district or another level of the district administration has not been involved in this decision," writes district spokeswoman Rita Lorenz.
After mixing, six hours remained for inoculation
Dr. Jacqueline Hiepler is a family doctor in Hennef and chairwoman of the board of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians in the Rhein-Sieg district. That morning, she and a colleague were on duty at Altenstift Limbach as so-called vaccination doctors. "Since the decision had just been made to be allowed to use the sixth dose of each ampoule, there was suddenly too much," she says. After mixing, she says, they had six hours to inject the vaccine.
When it was foreseeable that 40 to 50 injections would remain, she says, she instructed that they needed priority list 1 people who could be there within an hour. She specifically praises the efforts of acting facility manager Alexander Christian. "He exhausted everything that was possible," the doctor says.
Facility manager shocked by rumors on the net
Alexander Christian, the husband of the alderman Swen Christian, had contacted the GA on Tuesday. He said he was deeply shocked by what was being written on Internet platforms: "The services provided here by my staff and the vaccination team are being trampled on by rumors.
"Where requested, not only residents and employees were vaccinated, but also the employees of an outpatient care service in Wachtberg, as well as elderly people from the community who "could be called upon at short notice." In addition, elderly tenants of the adjacent residential complex and people suffering from cancer and cystic fibrosis had been vaccinated.
Leadership service of the fire department was also vaccinated
And the leadership service of the volunteer fire department Wachtberg with eight people, as community spokeswoman Margrit Märtens announced. But also just the crisis team, all not people of the priority list 1. "In the last half hour, the selection criteria become less concrete," says vaccinator Hiepler in this regard.
When time was of the essence, his husband, as deputy head of the crisis team, informed him that there was more vaccine left, says Swen Christian. "Immediately afterwards, I informed the mayor as head of the crisis team," the alderman said. Schmidt received the news in his car. "Considering all possibilities, I decided to call in the crisis team of the municipality with the fire department and the public order office, as far as they could be reached by phone," Schmidt shares.
When he later checked in person, he was also able to be vaccinated, as there were other surplus vaccine doses that would otherwise have been destroyed. "To my knowledge, the vaccination team had exhausted all possibilities to find other eligible persons, otherwise I would not have been involved," the mayor emphasises. According to GA information, his wife and son have also been vaccinated. Schmidt does not want to comment on this. Accusations that the remaining doses were not taken to old people or hospitals are refuted by ministry spokesman Duif: "To maintain the pharmaceutical quality of the Biontech vaccine, further transport is not permitted.
"Last Saturday, the 21st day after the first vaccination, all participants in round one at Limbach Hospital received their second shot, according to medical director Hiepler. "It was the luck of the first hour," she assesses in retrospect. Now there are only isolated cases - for example, due to illness or death - of residual doses in the homes.
(Translation: Mareike Graepel)