The first of six vaccination centers in Berlin is closing. But even if no more syringes are used in Hangar 4 of the former Tempelhof Airport as of Wednesday, Berliners who want to have a Corona vaccination need not fear bottlenecks or significantly longer waiting times, according to the Senate Department for Health. Their spokesman, Moritz Quiske, told the Germany Press Agency on Tuesday: "There remains a large supply. We have more vaccine than demand at the moment."
Also against this background, there are to be "spontaneous vaccinations" without registration in three vaccination centers in Berlin from Friday in the afternoon. Corona vaccinations will then be available between 2 and 5 p.m. without an appointment, according to the health administration. The offer is initially planned for four to six weeks for the vaccination centers in Tegel, at the exhibition grounds in Charlottenburg and in the Erika Heß ice stadium in Wedding.
The vaccination center in Tempelhof, which is now the first to close, was the last to go into operation in March. Others are to follow - they are needed less and less. The vaccination process is increasingly shifting to physicians in private practice, among others, Quiske said.In Tempelhof, there have been about 175,000 vaccinations, and in all vaccination centers so far about 1.96 million, he said. According to the health administration's situation report on Tuesday, the total number of all vaccinations in the capital is 3,762,628. Of Berliners, 45.8 percent have already been fully vaccinated, and 58.9 percent have been vaccinated once - meaning the need for vaccination capacity will decline in the foreseeable future.
According to Quiske, however, at least two vaccination centers in Berlin will remain in operation beyond the end of September. "Federal funding expires at the end of September, and 50 percent of the costs will be covered by the federal government," the health administration spokesman said. State health ministers decided at the end of June to scale back vaccination center operations in the fall. "Each state will decide for itself whether to keep them open then," Quiske said.
According to reports, in Berlin, the vaccination centers in Tegel and at the exhibition center in Charlottenburg would remain open. Also closing would then be the vaccination centers at the Velodrom in Pankow, the Arena in Treptow and the Erika Hess ice stadium.From the point of view of the German Red Cross (DRK), which coordinates the vaccination centers in Berlin, no restrictions are expected for Berliners after the cancellation of vaccination in Tempelhof: "We still have capacity in the vaccination centers," said the president of the DRK Berlin, Mario Czaja, in an interview with Radio eins of RBB on Tuesday. "We can vaccinate another half a million people in the now remaining five vaccination centers by September," Czaja assured. He added that there are also many other ways to get vaccinated.
The main reason for the closure in Tempelhof, he said, is the declining demand in all vaccination centers. "In addition, there is a new event that will be held there in the hangar starting at the end of July," Czaja said. The DRK president acknowledged, however, that vaccination at the six centers is also significantly more expensive than at a doctor's office. Czaja also pointed out that it would be reasonable to close Tempelhof if there were capacities at the other sites that were not yet being fully utilized. No vaccination center has yet been fully utilized, he said.
The fact that vaccinations are now also available in the parking lot in front of furniture stores is the right approach, in Czaja's view. "The German Red Cross and the other aid organizations are also happy to support this," he said. "I think that's the right thing to do, to offer vaccination in many places, low-threshold." That as many as possible get vaccinated remains important, he said.
Photo by Pim Menkveld