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200,000 vaccinations at the Bonn Vaccination Center: A success story

Especially during the period when there was not enough vaccine, the Bonn Vaccination Center at the World Conference Center was the central building block of the Corona vaccination campaign. Between the opening on February 8 and the last day on September 2, 2021, more than 200,000 vaccinations (around 106,000 first and around 94,000 second vaccinations) took place there.

"The Bonn Vaccination Center was a success story!" emphasizes Bonn's Lord Mayor Katja Dörner. "Especially in the first months, the respective groups of people could be vaccinated at a central location. From our point of view, it was important for the population in this phase to have a central point of contact for the Corona vaccination," the Lord Mayor continued. "On the one hand, my thanks go to all those involved, whose very great personal commitment contributed to the success of the vaccination center. But I also thank all the people who have been vaccinated in the fight against Corona and thus protect themselves and others from infection." 

To date, there have been 252,412 first vaccinations and 239,460 second vaccinations in Bonn. "These figures put us in a very good position," Katja Dörner is convinced.

The vaccination center, financed by the state of NRW, was the responsibility and competence of the municipal health department. The fire department took over the planning for the establishment, construction and operation of the vaccination center. The physicians, who had professional supervision, and the other medical staff were provided by the Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Nordrhein (KVNO). Now the fire department is handing over its share of responsibility to the health department. From there, further vaccinations of the population against the coronavirus will now be planned and carried out under original responsibility. Responsibility for the coordination unit, from which, among other things, orders for vaccines from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia are organized, is also being transferred from the fire department to the health department.

It started in November 2020

The city of Bonn had just two weeks to set up the vaccination center. After the decision was made at the end of November 2020 to set up the vaccination center at the WorldCCBonn on Platz der Vereinten Nationen, it was already ready for operation - as required by the state of NRW - on December 15, 2020. However, it then took until February 8 before the first people could be vaccinated at the vaccination center due to a shortage of vaccine. But the city had used the time for extensive testing and a trial run. The vaccination center's coordination office had already been organizing vaccine deliveries for all of Bonn's clinics and hospitals and the vaccination of people in senior citizens' facilities by mobile teams, among other things, since December 2020.

Up to 1800 vaccinations daily

The vaccination of the over-80s in Bonn really got underway at the beginning of February. Other cohorts followed, and quite a few groups of people and occupations were also vaccinated at the Bonn vaccination center. "At peak times, 1800 vaccinations per day were carried out in ten vaccination lines, and the average was around 1000 vaccinations per day," reports Bonn's head of health Margarete Heidler.

The health department set up a hotline (usually switched on daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and an accessibility by e-mail. In this way, many thousands of questions about vaccination were answered, appointments for occupational and personal groups were coordinated, or transportation services to the vaccination center were organized. Citizens* concerns were prioritized and handled by two physician and several nonphysician staff members.

"The overall atmosphere at the vaccination center was very positive," concluded Dr. Susanne Engels, head of the health department, and Jochen Stein, head of the fire and rescue service. "We received numerous thank-you letters in letter form or as e-mails, in the form of phone calls or simply as a `thank you' on the spot.`"

On average, people were at the immunization center for about an hour for their vaccination. In the beginning, there were longer lengths of stay. Firstly, due to poorer mobility and uncertainties among prioritized groups. Secondly, the procedures at the vaccination center also had to settle in first. With the second vaccinations, the situation eased noticeably, as people were now familiar with the procedures.

City continues to offer mobile vaccinations

Even without the Bonn Vaccination Center, people in Bonn have the opportunity to be vaccinated against Corona. On the one hand in the established medical practices, on the other hand the city of Bonn will also organize further vaccination offers on site, for which no appointment is needed.

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