Böttge: We are completely thwarted because the model test has stopped. For this model project, we received 500 vaccination doses and 500 names of authorized persons who are prioritized. We vaccinate between 100 and 150 patients per week. That is also the plan for later. The vaccination will stay, no matter which vaccine. The patients and Patients all live in the region and work in areas that have been prioritized, i.e. teachers, educators and employees in medical areas. Almost all age groups, with the exception of the very old, for whom the vaccine was initially not approved anyway.
Böttge: Yes you were then forwarded by the ministry to general practitioners’ practices in their area. We only had patients from a radius of ten kilometers.
SPIEGEL: What is the advantage of the model?
Böttge: Yes, you can ask, you get to work quickly. That is of course very reassuring.
SPIEGEL: Can every family doctor reliably identify the typical bleeding described here – an indication of a possible thrombosis – on the skin?
Böttge: The logistical effort is already relatively large. We have two floors here in our practice and are several doctors. In other words, it was okay for us to organize it. But we still need additional staff, as we are currently vaccinating on behalf of the ministry, which means that the bureaucratic effort is extremely high. A doctor needs at least three people to vaccinate for it to work properly.
SPIEGEL: Did you have to fill out these nine forms too?
Böttge: Yes, just like at the vaccination center, and of course we also have to send the relevant data to the ministry. This is time-consuming because we had to implement an additional documentation system in our practice software. And that didn’t go so smoothly at the beginning. This should be easier in standard care, because documentation and billing take place in the usual ways, i.e. via the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians.
Böttge: We did that too. Last Saturday we vaccinated 72 patients, and then an additional 6 were spontaneously called in and vaccinated directly. They were of course happy.
SPIEGEL: Let’s say AstraZeneca is re-registered …
SPIEGEL: How bad would it be if AstraZeneca were to fail completely?
Böttge: That would be pretty disastrous. It is already throwing back the vaccination campaign, which started much too hesitantly. It will take some time before the other manufacturers can deliver in sufficient quantities. In view of the increasing number of new infections, we see that we should be much further ahead. In the Saarland, the old people’s homes are almost completely vaccinated. We no longer have any corona outbreaks there. This shows that vaccination definitely protects.
SPIEGEL: How do we get out of the crisis?
Böttge: I consider this slowing down to be extremely unfavorable because it will also postpone the start of vaccinations in general practitioners’ practices. We’re incredibly late, we have to get going. The general practitioner sector is absolutely suitable for increasing the number of people who have been vaccinated. The point now is that we get enough material. Vaccination is our best strategy to finally get Corona under control.