Many cancellations, little vaccine – first companies no longer vaccinate

Vaccination at the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg

The first companies stop the vaccination campaign in-house.

(Photo: dpa)

Dusseldorf At Commerzbank, employees no longer receive a vaccine. The company doctors of the money house did basic immunization in the summer and autumn, but the bankers have to look for the booster elsewhere. “Currently, the external vaccination offer is so well developed that we do not believe that an internal vaccination campaign represents any added value for our employees,” explains a spokeswoman.

As in Frankfurt, fewer factory doctors are involved in the booster vaccinations throughout the republic. “The first companies are ending the vaccination campaign in-house,” says Anette Wahl-Wachendorf from the Association of Company Doctors. The reasons are numerous.

Firstly, there are more low-threshold offers in vaccination centres, at general practitioners or in vaccination buses than last year. Sometimes employees make several appointments – and cancel at short notice. Wahl-Wachendorf estimates that ten percent of the agreed appointments with the factory doctors are canceled.

Often only twelve doses of Biontech per company doctor

In addition, the vaccine is scarce. Each company doctor can currently only order a maximum of 30 doses of the Biontech vaccine. In fact, many company doctors only get 12 to 18 doses. “The unreliable delivery makes it difficult for colleagues to plan the vaccinations,” says Wahl-Wachendorf. At SAP, for example, the Biontech deliveries are not sufficient. Allianz also describes the scarce supply of this vaccine as a “handicap”.

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Company doctors can order the vaccine from Moderna in unlimited quantities. But that has an unjustified problem of acceptance among many employees, reports doctor Wahl-Wachendorf. In addition, the authorities only recommend vaccination with Biontech for under-30s and pregnant women. But relaxation is in sight: In the fifth and sixth calendar week there should be larger Biontech delivery quantities again.

In the summer, the company vaccination campaigns ran only hesitantly. The hopes that the company doctors would quickly immunize the employees were high at the time, because the 12,000 company doctors nationwide have direct access to the 45 million employees. Many large companies quickly set up large vaccination lines, but often could not fully utilize them because they received too little vaccine.

VW has already administered 107,000 vaccine doses

Even if the first companies are no longer vaccinating: large corporations and large family businesses continue to immunize. Since December they have been offering booster vaccinations to employees and their relatives. BASF company doctors have administered around 17,000 booster vaccinations so far, and Telekom has given a similar number of appointments for January. Volkswagen has administered a total of 107,000 doses since the start of the company vaccination campaign.

The services offered by company doctors are of particular interest where employees have few other options for vaccination. The heating and air conditioning specialist Viessmann, based in rural Allendorf in Hesse, reports that demand is high. At the Cologne trading company Berner, this is lower because many employees have already boosted themselves elsewhere.

Many companies boast that their vaccination rate is higher than the national average of around 73 percent. The mechanical engineering company Trumpf says it is 93 percent, the energy supplier Eon comes to 95 percent. At the sporting goods manufacturer Puma, it is even 96 percent, and 50 percent are said to have received the booster vaccinations there. In eastern Germany in particular, however, companies are registering lower numbers: the medium-sized company MN Maschinenbau reports that only 20 percent of employees are boosted.

Beiersdorf plans to keep its vaccination center open until the end of January, Viessmann until the beginning of February, and Henkel has made appointments well into February. Company doctor representative Wahl-Wachendorf expects that the booster campaign will be completed in all companies by March at the latest. The doctor then expects the infection process to ease.

Cooperation: Martin Buchenau

More: Tens of thousands of sick leave, laboratories at the limit: This is how the Omicron wave hit companies and infrastructure

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