Germany: Why did more than 23,000 doctors drop out of the vaccination campaign?

Health insurance and private doctors are apparently increasingly withdrawing from the Corona vaccination campaign. This is shown by figures from the Robert Koch Institute, which are available to WELT AM SONNTAG. In the week from August 2 to 8, only 29,300 doctors still vaccinated patients against the coronavirus, which is significantly less than the total number that participated in the campaign. Since vaccination began, more than 52,600 doctors have administered Covid 19 vaccines.

Corona vaccination campaign withdrawn

Vaccine orders from practices have also declined since June, figures from the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV) show. According to the figures, about 1.3 million were requested on July 27. That is less than at the start of the vaccination campaign in April, when 1.5 million doses were ordered.

On the other hand, Andreas Gassen, Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung), put into perspective that a large number of doctors are currently dropping out of the vaccination campaign. It is true that vaccination numbers are declining, he said. “But we have to keep in mind that more and more people are now already fully vaccinated,” he said.

Gassen also believes vaccine manufacturers have a responsibility: “To ensure that doses don’t go unused and have to be disposed of, it’s important that manufacturers also offer single doses as soon as possible.”

“Other vaccine presentations” also at AstraZeneca

Major manufacturers are already looking at such adjustments. “We are working on smaller pack sizes and will be able to give an update in about six months,” a spokeswoman for the Mainz-based company Biontech told WELT AM SONNTAG. AstraZeneca also said it may be necessary to “offer other vaccine presentations over time.”

Coinciding with the doctors’ withdrawal, the German states are already planning to end their vaccination centers. Eleven of the 16 responsible state ministries communicate on inquiry of WELT AM SONNTAG to close their mechanisms at the latest 30. September completely or at least to a large extent. Bavaria and Schleswig-Holstein want to maintain centers on a large scale at least still with reduced capacity or in “stand-by mode”.

More than 23,000 doctors in Germany have dropped out of the Corona vaccination campaign. This should not be overestimated, says virologist Prof. Klaus Stöhr. It feels like there is almost only discussion about vaccinating the over-12s, but it is more important to protect the elderly.

Unvaccinated under pressure

In Germany, only just over half (56.82%) of the population is fully vaccinated against Corona. Less than two-thirds (62.76%) of Germans have received at least one vaccination.

Meanwhile, unvaccinated people in Germany continue to be squeezed. As of October 11, corona tests are no longer free. Without vaccination, a certificate of recovery or a negative test, people will no longer be allowed to work in the hospitality industry, hairdressers and other contact professions. Sports or events will also be off limits. The regulation also applies to visitors to hospitals, retirement and nursing homes.