“There will be no switching to another vaccine,” said government spokeswoman Anke Pörksen on Tuesday in the weekly press conference of the Corona crisis team. She therefore urged those under the age of 65 to state clearly before visiting the vaccination center that they do not want to be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine. No other vaccine will be available at the vaccination center.
If you don’t want to, you have to wait
The deputy head of the Corona crisis team, Claudia Schröder, added: “We make everyone a vaccination offer, according to the priority, but if that is turned down, it is the turn of the next who want to be vaccinated.” If the person later decides to want to be vaccinated, it could take a new vaccination offer.
“There is no reason to refuse the vaccine”
According to Schröder, these short-term cancellations pose problems for the vaccination center. This is because the appointments that have become free can usually no longer be filled on the same day. Around 40 percent of those eligible for outpatient care rejected the AstraZeneca vaccine. “This is technically completely unfounded and incomprehensible,” said Schröder. “The vaccine is really good and there is no reason to refuse it.” They assume that the vaccination withdrawals are a temporary problem.
State is pushing municipalities to speed up vaccination
According to Poerksen, these short-term cancellations are also one of the reasons that vaccination is currently not proceeding as quickly as the state government would like it to be. “We are assuming a good will and a good willingness to work in all areas, but something is still possible.” All in all, vaccination must now progress faster and the pace increased from week to week. If the state government had its way, if possible every seven days of the week would be used for vaccinations, said the government spokeswoman. However, the respective districts and independent cities are responsible for personnel and deployment planning in the 50 vaccination centers in the state.
Vaccination offer for everyone 80 Years until the end of March
According to Schröder, more than half a million doses of the three approved vaccines have currently been inoculated in Lower Saxony. Only the mRNA vaccines from Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna are intended for all people aged 65 and over. The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) had not approved vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine for them due to initially insufficient data. Schröder said that by the end of March all people aged 80 and over could be offered a vaccination. But the first vaccinations in the second priority group with the AstraZeneca vaccine have already started in some municipalities. First, groups of people from institutions such as hospitals, institutions for the disabled or medical centers are vaccinated. According to Poerksen, individuals from the second category cannot yet be vaccinated.
A pilot project with vaccinations at the family doctor is being expanded
In order to be able to vaccinate more people faster, general practitioners and specialists are to be included in the vaccinations in the future. A pilot project is currently running for this purpose. After an interim evaluation on Thursday, this procedure is to be expanded in the coming week, said Schröder. If larger quantities of the AstraZeneca vaccine were to be delivered in the future, they wanted to be well positioned.
Federal-state talks on Wednesday
Vaccinations are also particularly important because the number of new infections is currently not falling any further, but is stagnating, said Schröder. What this means for the further course of action in the pandemic and possible easing will be discussed by the Prime Ministers with the Federal Chancellor on Wednesday. According to Poerksen, Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) did not want to participate in a “speculation mess” in advance. The government spokeswoman pointed out, however, that in view of the current difficult phase, it will not only be about easing, but also about accompanying measures. “We will have to proceed very carefully so as not to get into a higher third wave very quickly,” said Poerksen.