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Short supply from February: Vaccination freeze upsets plans in Bonn and the Rhein-Sieg district

Short supply from February : Vaccination freeze upsets plans in Bonn and the Rhein-Sieg district

The state of NRW has halted initial vaccinations in hospitals and nursing homes until the end of January. Bonn facilities waited in vain for the vaccine on Wednesday. According to current figures, there are also far too few vaccine doses available as of February.

Even four weeks after the approval of the first vaccine of the companies Biontech and Pfizer, there can be no talk of a mass vaccination against the potentially deadly Corona viruses going according to plan. Quite the opposite: late on Tuesday evening, the Ministry of Health in North Rhine-Westphalia stopped all further initial vaccinations in nursing homes and hospitals with a circular e-mail to the coordination centres of all vaccination centres with immediate effect until the end of January. The vaccines already ordered for Wednesday and Thursday "can no longer be delivered", it says literally. The country thus pulled the ripcord only four days later, after Biontech/Pfizer had reported reduced delivery quantities in the coming weeks because the Pfizer plant near Brussels is being retooled. By the end of the month, the country would no longer deliver any vaccine doses.

There were long faces at St. John's Hospital and St. John's Forest Hospital on Wednesday. "After we had vaccinated 381 employees on Monday and Tuesday, 219 more vaccinations should now follow," reported press spokesman Michael Forst. This would then provide the contact groups 1 and 2 in the houses with a total workforce of 1,400 people. "But the vaccination doses have not come any more," Forst said. Many employees with off shifts came extra that morning, he said. "We already set up two vaccination lines on December 23," Forst says. "The logistical effort is great." After all, everyone to be vaccinated had to leave their station for at least 30 minutes. Now we can only hope that the great willingness to vaccinate within the workforce will continue.

So far, a total of around 6,400 people have been vaccinated against coronaviruses in Bonn. Among them were 4,900 in 40 old people's and nursing homes. Also on Wednesday vaccination teams were still in a Bonn nursing home. The vaccine had already arrived the previous days.

Hubert Radinger is one of the five retired physicians who medically manage the vaccinations in Bonn on behalf of the Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Nordrhein (KVN). Last summer, he gave up his practice for pediatric and adolescent medicine for reasons of age. Radinger is not very understanding in regard to the daily new announcements from the Düsseldorf Ministry of Health: "It had been known for six months that the vaccine was coming. The politicians could have organised the vaccination easily."

Now it’s one rush job after another, to which the (KVN) can react logistically only with difficulty. From the insurance physician federation it is to be heard, that the federal state government has thrown the organisation of the inoculations in December literally at their feet.

Radinger's colleagues in the Rhine-Sieg district were lucky. "The vaccine for the hospital in Siegburg was ordered on Monday and delivered on Tuesday," reports Jaqueline Hiepler, KVN chairwoman in the Rhine-Sieg district. This meant that vaccinations could be carried out there on Wednesday as planned. In the GFO clinics in Troisdorf and Sieglar, vaccination will now not take place until the beginning of February. In addition one is in the process of rescheduling the second vaccinations. Hiepler does not see the delay as a drama - if it stays that way.

At the moment, however, it does not look like that will happen. Instead of on the 1st as planned, the 53 vaccination centres nationwide are now scheduled to begin vaccinating over 80-year-olds outside nursing homes on February 8. However, a January 13 internal list obtained by GA indicates further shortages. According to it, only 1,378 vaccine doses for over-80s will be delivered to Bonn each week in February and March. In addition, there are 333 doses for employees of rescue and ambulatory care services. The Rhine-Sieg district, with a population almost twice as large, has to make do with 1,888 doses for the very elderly and 456 doses for rescue and care workers.

"That would already be very little," says Hiepler. Her colleague Radinger is also disappointed. "We plan to start at the Bonn Immunization Center on February 1, initially with only four of eight vaccination lines. This would allow for about 300 vaccinations a day," he calculates, instead of the 1,100 planned for full-load operation. "Nevertheless, all vaccine will be gone after five days at the latest," Radinger says. The original plan from December to completely vaccinate the elderly and medical staff by the end of February is thus a long way off. In mathematical terms, it is now likely to take until mid-April unless further vaccines are supplied.

The Ministry of Health expresses itself tight-lipped on GA inquiry: "The companies Biontech and Moderna have announced vaccine doses for the coming weeks", writes press officer Pascal Wirth. He does not specify a start date for vaccination group 2. However, it is assumed that all citizens will be vaccinated by the middle of the year, "provided that the vaccine doses procured by the federal government are delivered to NRW according to plan". Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann is quoted as saying: "Unfortunately, the majority of people will have to continue to be patient.

He could be right about that, after all. Engineers Bogna Szyk and Philip Maus of the Vienna University of Technology have developed an online tool that allows anyone to calculate when they are likely to receive a vaccination offer given their life situation (www.omnicalculator.com/health/impfterminrechner#app). A 45-year-old worker with no special eligibility or pre-existing condition cannot expect a first vaccination until August 29 under the federal government's plan, and October 10 at the earliest under the actual vaccination schedule.