Bonn/Region The vaccination campaign has started nationwide. First of all, the old people's homes are being supplied. But what will happen in Bonn and the region? We give answers to the most important questions.
The Corona vaccination campaign was launched throughout Germany at the weekend. Now many people are asking themselves when they will have the opportunity to be vaccinated. The state health ministries are responsible for organising the vaccinations. Locally, the city of Bonn and the Rhein-Sieg district are implementing this together with the Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Nordrhein (KVNO). Here are the most important questions and answers.
Where do citizens have to report if they want to be vaccinated against Corona?
At the moment, no vaccination appointments are given out yet. As soon as this is possible, the nationwide telephone number 116 117 will apply. It is expected that the allocation of appointments will be activated in the coming days. Parallel information is available on the internet on the website of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (Kassenärztliche Vereinigung) www.116117.de, where patients can consult their GPs.
When will vaccinations start?
Since Sunday, vaccination has been carried out in old people's and nursing homes. Hospitals will follow. In the course of January, the vaccination campaign is expected to start in the vaccination centres, initially with the over-80s and system-relevant groups of people such as paramedics. Vaccination appointments for citizens outside the three prioritised groups could probably take place in the summer. However, it is difficult to make a serious forecast. Everything depends on the availability of the vaccines. The NRW Ministry of Health expects that there will be enough vaccine for all population groups from July 2021.
Is vaccination voluntary?
Is vaccination free of charge?
Who will be vaccinated first?
The vaccination ordinance of the Federal Ministry of Health specifies the order in which vaccinations are given. There are three tiers.
What are the priority levels?
The highest priority level is for people aged 80 and older, residents of retirement and nursing homes and their staff, outpatient geriatric care staff, staff in medical facilities with a particularly high risk of infection, and staff from medical facilities with contact with high-risk patients.
Second priority is given to people aged 70 and older, people at very high risk of severe or fatal disease progression (trisomy 21, dementia, mental retardation, organ transplant recipients), close contacts of people from risk group one and of pregnant women and people in need of care. Also police and law enforcement officers, people from public health services and hospital infrastructure.
Level three are people aged 60 and over, and people with obesity, kidney disease, liver disease, HIV, diabetes, heart failure, cancer, lung failure, rheumatism. In addition, employees in relevant government institutions and critical infrastructure, food retailers, educators and teachers, people with precarious working and living conditions.
■ Are there currently supply bottlenecks?
Because the approval of the Pfizer vaccine came rather suddenly, delivery is not yet running smoothly. Originally, the Rhein-Sieg district was promised 180 vaccine doses on Sunday, 2150 on Tuesday and another 2150 on Thursday. 120 actually arrived on Sunday. This Tuesday there will only be 250 and on Wednesday 350. Therefore, vaccinations can be given in only two nursing homes on Tuesday instead of twelve as originally planned.
Have any side effects been reported after the first vaccinations in Troisdorf?
According to Jacqueline Hiepler, district chairperson of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, the 80 seniors did not mention any side effects during the follow-up examination except for a minor pressure pain. Of the 40 caregivers, one complained of short-term, mild chills in the evening after the vaccination.
How many mobile vaccination teams are on the road?
One should not imagine the procedure as individual vaccination teams being on the road in the entire region. Each family doctor is currently in charge of the old people's and nursing home for which he or she is otherwise responsible. He receives support from other volunteer doctors and medical assistants. On Sunday, six doctors vaccinated in a Troisdorf home.
When can people in need of care be vaccinated at home?
It is not possible with the current vaccine. However, the Moderna vaccine is expected to be approved in the course of January. This will make home visits possible.
Why is the already approved Biontech/Pfizer vaccine so sensitive?
The vaccine consists of two components. It has to be stored at minus 70 degrees. After that, it can be stored and transported at two to eight degrees for five days. As soon as the two components are joined together on site - they have to be very carefully mixed together - the doctors have five hours to administer the vaccine. However, it must not be moved or transported during this time because it is a sensitive protein. When vaccinating in old people's homes, the components are put together on the spot.
What do people need to do who want to be vaccinated as soon as possible now?
Residents of old people's homes and nursing homes are visited for vaccination. People in need of care who are cared for at home still have to wait for the more robust vaccine. Over-80s who are still mobile can probably make an appointment for vaccination at one of the vaccination centres from mid-January. According to the NRW Ministry of Health, they will receive an information letter beforehand. As soon as sufficient vaccine is available for the vaccination centres, appointments will be made. Priority 1 people aged 80 and older are first in line. They call 116 117 for an appointment, which is given in writing.
Does the number 116 117 also apply to privately insured people?
Yes, there is no difference.
What do people do who cannot visit the vaccination centre?
They contact their family doctor and will be vaccinated as soon as less sensitive vaccines are available.
How does the telephone call to 116 117 work?
The person to be vaccinated is asked about their age and chronic illnesses. Then they are sent documents: the vaccination consent, the data sheet and the appointment at the vaccination centre. With the documents plus the vaccination card and identity card, the person goes to the vaccination centre at the appointed time.
Can I go to the vaccination centre without an appointment?
Why does the vaccination centre have a fever screening?
The vaccination is intended as corona prevention for healthy people. Through the vaccine, the vaccinated person builds up an immune defence. Anyone who is already infected with corona must not be vaccinated because it will not help them and is more likely to weaken them.
Who else must not be vaccinated?
According to the current status, people under 16 years of age and pregnant women must not be vaccinated. In the case of allergy sufferers, the doctor must decide. Mild allergies such as hay fever are harmless. Allergy sufferers with asthma attacks and shortness of breath should consult a doctor.
Where are the vaccination centres located?
For Bonn residents at the World Conference Center (WCCB) in the former government district and for citizens of the Rhein-Sieg district at the Sankt Augustin Children's Hospital. It is not possible to go there spontaneously. Everyone must first make an appointment at the vaccination centre responsible for them.
How high is the current vaccination readiness?
During the first vaccinations in the old people's homes, the willingness of residents and nursing staff to be vaccinated was between 30 and 50 percent, according to local observations by the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians.
When does full immunity develop?
The vaccine must be administered twice at intervals of three weeks. One week after the second vaccination, 95 percent immunity is fully effective.
How long will it take until 70 percent of the population in the Rhine-Sieg district has been vaccinated and thus the goal of herd immunity has been achieved?
If vaccination is only carried out in the vaccination centre and 2000 people are supplied there per day, then it would take 14 months. Currently, the authorities assume that once other, less susceptible vaccines are ready for the market, it will also be possible to vaccinate in GP practices. "I hope that we will have achieved this in the summer," said Jacqueline Hiepler from the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians.
What is the vaccination procedure in Rhineland-Palatinate?
There, it runs analogously to North Rhine-Westphalia. The number 116 117 is valid nationwide. In the Ahr district, the location for the vaccination centre is in Grafschaft-Gelsdorf and in the Neuwied district in Oberhonnefeld.
What do we not yet know?
The information situation on the coronavirus, its spread and also on the vaccination procedure can change almost daily. Therefore, information that is still valid today may no longer be valid tomorrow. We learn from experience. That is why procedures are occasionally optimised and changed.
Further information on the Corona vaccination campaign is available on the Internet at www.116117.de and by telephone on 116 117. The health ministries will be writing to the over-80s in the next few days and asking them to make an appointment for vaccination.
Original text: Jörg Manhold
Translation: Mareike Graepel