Düsseldorf – What happens after the chaos of vaccination appointments for people over 80 in North Rhine-Westphalia?
The situation could become even more complicated, because by the end of next week 158,400 doses of the vaccine from manufacturer Astrazeneca will also arrive in North Rhine-Westphalia, which is not allowed to be used in older people.
In the state parliament’s health committee, Minister Karl-Josef Laumann (63, CDU) said that there would be an immediate regulation to vaccinate people under 65 years of age. Laumann: “There will be no leeway.”
For the elderly there are currently 80,000 to 90,000 vaccination doses from Biontech per week, and the system in North Rhine-Westphalia cannot vaccinate more people over 65 years of age. Laumann tellingly: “Then you know how long it will take.”
According to the Federal Statistical Office, there are over 3.8 million people over 65 years of age in NRW. Even if you subtract the more than 450,000 people who have already been vaccinated, the vaccination marathon for seniors will probably continue into autumn.
The vaccination of older people by the family doctor is also becoming a long way off due to the age requirement for the Astrazeneca vaccine, because the Biontech vaccine, which is to be deeply cooled, requires a very sophisticated and safe system, including the actual injection. “It’s not easy,” said Laumann.
The Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians is working on the issue of vaccination in the home environment. This is likely to be most likely to succeed in day care and shared apartments, where several people can be vaccinated at the same time in one place.
The good news: According to Laumann, an additional 130,000 vaccination appointments will be added to the system for March because manufacturer Biontech has announced higher delivery quantities. According to Laumann, appointments for people over 80 should be completed by the end of April. But: “No one can vaccinate faster than one has the vaccine.”