General practitioners to offer vaccinations as of April
“We intend to become swifter and more flexible,” stressed Chancellor Angela Merkel following her meeting with the Heads of Government of the Länder to discuss the way forward with the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. The thorough approach that Germany is famous for, and that has also proved its worth, is now to be supplemented “by greater German flexibility”, she said.
The watchword is “vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate”
The aim is, as of the second quarter, to roll out vaccinations in Germany as swiftly and as flexibly as possible. “The watchword is vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate,” underlined Angela Merkel. Federal and Länder Governments have thus agreed on a strategy that will increasingly involve general practitioners in the campaign alongside the important vaccination centres.
It is not a case of “either or”, Angela Merkel stressed. We need both. The Federal and Länder Governments discussed in depth how the work of vaccination centres and general practitioners can be most rapidly dovetailed and organised with as little red tape as possible.
Available vaccine doses rising steadily
The Federal and Länder Governments reaffirmed their goal of offering all citizens in Germany a vaccination by the end of the summer. Although the vaccines will still be in short supply in April, the available number of doses will rise steadily over the coming weeks. In addition to the deliveries already planned, Germany is to receive an additional delivery of 580,000 doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine.
General practitioners launch COVID-19 vaccinations
General practitioners are to be involved in the vaccination process as of 5 April. Because the number of vaccine doses available will initially still be limited, only smaller quantities will be supplied to general practitioners. Each of the 50,000 or so practices are to receive about 20 doses of the vaccine a week. At a later stage specialists and company doctors will also be involved.
The vaccinations performed by general practitioners will be based on the prioritisation set out in the vaccination regulations. The practices will apply these flexibly. The general practitioners are to invite their own particularly vulnerable patients for vaccination and will vaccinate patients with mobility issues in their own homes.
2.25 million doses a week for the vaccination centres
The vaccination centres established in the individual Länder and the mobile vaccination teams will still be in action. To maintain reliable operations and allow for planning, the Länder will receive a steady 2.25 million doses of vaccine a week in April. The number of vaccine doses is to increase gradually.
The additional delivery of 580,000 vaccination doses from BioNTech/Pfizer will also be used for the targeted vaccination of people in particularly vulnerable border regions. These will include regions along the Czech border and areas that border on the French département Moselle, where infection rates are very high. This is to limit the number of infections coming across the border and prevent the spread of variants of the virus.
Before the vaccination summit, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) confirmed that the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, meaning that vaccinations using this vaccine could be resumed in Germany. After a small number of cases of cerebral vein thrombosis were reported, the Federal Government temporarily suspended the administration of this vaccine as a precautionary measure until the facts of the matter were investigated, on the basis of a recommendation issued by the Paul Ehrlich Institute. You will find more information in this report.