AThe paper clearly states who is vaccinated against the coronavirus as early as possible. Priority is given to those in need of care, doctors and nurses as well as everyone over eighty years of age. This is what it says in the regulation that Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) signed in December. But now that the vaccination has been going on for a good week, research by the FAZ shows that in practice the place of residence also plays a decisive role when it comes to when people with high priority are given the vaccine. Because while the federal government procures the vaccine centrally, the federal states are responsible for the vaccination process – and serious differences become apparent after just a few days.
The federal government has announced that it will distribute the vaccine to the federal states according to the proportion of the population. A query with the state governments on Sunday showed that most of the countries also received this share. Baden-Württemberg reports that the state has so far received a little less than it is entitled to. According to this, 172 boxes each containing 196 vials of the Biontech vaccine have been delivered. If each vial delivers five injections as planned, that corresponds to around 168,000 doses. According to its large proportion of the population, Stuttgart is entitled to 173,000 cans. Nevertheless, vaccinations are comparatively quick in the southwest: by Sunday, the Robert Koch Institute had more than 24,000 vaccinations from there.
Because everyone has to be vaccinated twice with an interval of three weeks, the countries hold back half of the vaccine supplied for the second round. The Standing Vaccination Commission had pointed out that if there was a shortage, it was more important to put the second syringe in those who had already been vaccinated. When vaccinations began nationwide shortly after Christmas, mobile vaccination teams swarmed into nursing homes all over the country to inject people in need of care and those willing to vaccinate. At the same time, doctors and nurses in large hospitals in some federal states have been supplied with the vaccine since then.
According to estimates by the Standing Vaccination Commission, almost nine million people in Germany belong to the group with the highest vaccination priority. Of these, those over eighty make up the largest single group with more than five million. But for them in particular, how quickly they can be vaccinated depends on where they live. While Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg stated that the vaccination centers there had already administered the vaccine to the first senior citizens, in other federal states it is not even clear when and how people should be approached in order to make an appointment at the vaccination center.
Rhineland-Palatinate wants to start making appointments this Monday. In Hesse, it should only start on Tuesday of the following week, from February 19, seniors should then be vaccinated in the vaccination centers. In Thuringia, they have been able to make an appointment since December 30th, and on the first day alone, according to the Erfurt Ministry of Health, 11,000 Thuringians made use of this – the number shows how great the demand for the vaccine is among the elderly. While a spokesman for the Ministry of Health in North Rhine-Westphalia said that senior citizens would not be invited to make an appointment until “around mid-January”, a spokesman for the administration in Berlin said that they had already started in the capital – apparently deviating from the agreed rules have to invite those who are older than 90 years to vaccinate. However, Spahn’s vaccination ordinance has no such age limit.