Canceled vaccination appointments: AstraZeneca – the unpopular vaccine?

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Status: 04/30/2021 10:07 am

A survey by the Ed in the vaccination centers of the federal states shows: Many people entitled to vaccinate still have reservations about AstraZeneca. In some countries the failure rate is up to 25 percent. But there are big differences.

It’s a trick airlines use every now and then. To ensure that an aircraft is completely full, simply overbook a little. Experience has shown that someone will jump out for a short time anyway. Every space should be used – as efficiently as possible. Vaccination centers in some federal states are now using this principle. In this way, they ensure that all appointments are made up as far as possible and that as little vaccine as possible is lost. Hamburg handles it like this, but also Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate write that the vaccination centers in the state can make use of this practice. Nevertheless, it does happen – a survey by the Ed in the federal states – that vaccination dates remain free. Almost all federal states answered the questionnaire.

There has been much debate about the AstraZeneca vaccine since it was approved. At first the vaccine was not approved for the elderly, after reports of sinus vein thrombosis, the vaccination was completely suspended for a short time. There is currently a recommendation that the vaccine should only be given to people over the age of 60. However, it is possible to deviate from this recommendation and, once informed, the vaccine can also be used for younger age groups.

Failure rate of 25 percent in Hessen

This back and forth is probably one of the reasons that some federal states are reporting back that there are problems with the AstraZeneca vaccine. For example, Hesse writes on request that “with the active ingredient from AstraZeneca, the average missed appointment rate in the Hessian vaccination centers was recently around 25 percent of missed appointments”. Bavaria also complains about a “certain reluctance” to use the vaccine. Something similar can be heard from Lower Saxony. According to the responsible ministry, there is a failure rate of up to 20 percent in some vaccination centers. Rhineland-Palatinate recorded less than ten percent of AstraZeneca appointments in the vaccination centers that were not attended to.

Bremen recently collected specific figures on the failures. From the end of March to mid-April there were only 445 missed appointments with the vaccine for around 56,000 vaccinations, compared with 372 for BioNTech’s vaccine. Bremen has no problems getting rid of the vaccine. Something similar can be heard from Hamburg. According to the social authorities, there is currently no AZ vaccine in stock. Schleswig-Holstein, Saarland, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg have not received any feedback from their vaccination centers about relevant reluctance at AstraZeneca.

“Action days” in some federal states

However, many federal states have declared “days of action” to vaccinate a particularly large number of people over the age of 60. In North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, all people over the age of 60 could get a vaccination appointment with the AstraZeneca active ingredient over Easter, regardless of whether they had previous illnesses or not. Baden-Württemberg is currently offering regional “vaccination days”. These appointments were very well received and quickly booked out, according to feedback from the country. Still other vaccination centers keep special lists of groups entitled to vaccinate, such as teachers or police officers, who can be quickly invited to free appointments.

Most countries still adhere to an age limit for vaccinating AstraZeneca, at least in the vaccination centers. Berlin, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Bavaria have, however, completely removed the age prioritization. There anyone who wants can be vaccinated with AstraZeneca in a doctor’s practice or in a vaccination center. All that is required is a more detailed explanation of the risks from the doctor.

AstraZeneca often only in general practices

The Free State of Saxony has also lifted the age limit for vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine. Experience with the vaccine is mainly available from general practitioners’ practices. These were allowed to vaccinate, especially in areas with a high incidence, such as the Vogtlandkreis, before they were started in practices across Germany. However, the ministry writes, it has been reported that there are always people who have reservations about AstraZeneca. Initial vaccinations with AstraZeneca are now only carried out in Saxony in the three large centers in Dresden, Leipzig and Chemnitz and in general practitioners’ practices.

This development can be seen in most of the vaccination centers in the federal states. Several countries point out that the AstraZeneca vaccine only goes to general practitioners’ practices and is no longer used for primary vaccinations in the vaccination center. The reasons for the missed appointments can of course also be in individual cases because some people simply forget to cancel their appointment at the vaccination center. But these are likely to be isolated cases, so the feedback. The authorities have no data on how the AstraZeneca vaccine is accepted in tens of thousands of general practitioners’ practices. However, family doctors repeatedly report that personal advice often takes away the concerns and those who are hesitant to vaccinate ultimately decide in favor of the injection instead of against it.

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