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Vaccination appointments: "We strongly advise against jumping the queue"

Vaccination appointments : "We strongly advise against jumping the queue"

The vaccination sequence will also be lifted in NRW on June 7. But already now the rush in the practices of the region is large. What the vaccination doctor of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians advises.

In view of the approaching summer vacations and privileges for vaccinated and recovered people, more and more people in Germany are hoping for a timely vaccination. The vaccination order will be lifted on June 7. In addition to family doctors, private and company doctors will then also be allowed to vaccinate. The rush at family doctors in the region is already high. "We see an enormously high demand for vaccination appointments," says the chairwoman of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KV) in the Rhine-Sieg district, Jacqueline Hiepler. In the meantime, almost all doctors have kept lists of those willing to be vaccinated.

Per family doctor in the region Hiepler estimates the queue to involve 200 people. Because young people increasingly want to be vaccinated, the demand for vaccination appointments is rising. However, the practices receive a maximum of 50 vaccine doses per week. Currently, it is often less, he said. That leads to frustration and anger, according to Hiepler. "Appointments are always subject to change, and that creates a lot of administrative work for the practices," Hiepler says. Appointments have to be canceled and rescheduled when expected vaccines fail to arrive. She reports doctors having to cancel two-thirds of their vaccination appointments again because of a shortage of vaccine doses. "Our biggest problem is variable availability in vaccines," she says.

Aggressive demand sentiment

Annoyance about this would affect the employees of the doctor's offices at the counter. Oliver Funken, chairman of the North Rhine GP association, also reports on this. The family physicians experienced an extremely aggressive mood with the demand for vaccines. Already, he said, the phones were running hot in the practices, so that family physicians were having increasing difficulties with standard care. "We now have a dangerous trend: numerous primary care practices are opting out of the vaccination system again," Funken says. The mood has become more acute as the vacations approach and more freedoms beckon, he adds. At present, vaccine was needed especially for the second vaccinations, so that the first vaccinations could not currently be in the foreground to the same extent as before.

The North Rhine Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians said it was not aware of any aggressive mood. "Presumably, the tone is getting rougher in some places, as many now want to have a vaccination appointment. Here we ask for patience on behalf of our physicians in private practice," said a spokesman. In the practices, the phones are often very active and there are a lot of inquiries. However, not all patients who are willing to be vaccinated can be given an immediate vaccination appointment. This is not possible. For June, however, significantly more vaccine doses for practices have been announced. Currently, 5136 practices in the North Rhine region are vaccinating against Corona.

Appointment calendar for general practitioners planned

In order not to overload the practices further, KV boss Hiepler advises against getting on the list of doctors before June 7. She said an appointment calendar for primary care physicians is in the works, which will allow people who want to be vaccinated to sign up on the physicians' websites in the future. "If more and more people get on the lists now, the chaos won't get any better," she says. "We strongly discourage pushing, it won't do any good." She also asks that people not to get put on different lists in multiple tracks. For those responsible, it is then difficult to assess where how much vaccine is really needed, she says.

In addition, specialists are now also available for vaccination appointments. However, they usually vaccinate their own chronically ill patients. An exception are pediatricians, who also vaccinate parents of chronically ill children. In the Rhine-Sieg district, there have recently been repeated special appointments for vaccinations with Astrazeneca. On Saturday, for example, the vaccine was inoculated in Sankt Augustin and Eitorf. In the future there are to be further programs. In Sankt Augustin, for example, those willing to be vaccinated can contact astra@sankt-augustin.de to be considered for future campaigns.

(Original text: Andreas Dyck (with material from dpa), Translation: Mareike Graepel)