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Corona | Vaccination Simulator: How long it will now take until everyone is vaccinated

The vaccination ban for Astrazeneca's preparation dealt a severe blow to the German vaccination campaign. How long will it take until everyone is vaccinated? A simulator shows different scenarios.

With the vaccination ban for Astrazeneca's vaccine, the German vaccination campaign threatens to stall again. Millions of vaccine doses that have already been delivered cannot be administered, hundreds of thousands of appointments are canceled and the public's confidence in the active ingredient is dwindling.

Recently there was still reason for cautious optimism: After a bumpy start and delivery problems, the number of vaccinations has recently increased. In the past seven days alone, over 1.7 million vaccine doses were administered in Germany.

Vaccination campaign slows down without Astrazeneca

Now the vaccination speed has to be reduced again. How exactly a permanent elimination of the Astrazeneca vaccine would affect the German vaccination campaign can be calculated with the vaccination simulator of the Central Institute for Statutory Health Insurance (ZI). To do this, the tool includes various factors such as vaccine delivery quantities, capacities of the vaccination centers and practices or the population's willingness to vaccinate. As a result, the simulator outputs, for example, at what point in time a certain proportion of the population would be fully vaccinated.

Assuming that the currently approved vaccines from Biontech / Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are delivered on time without failures and are distributed as best as possible to the vaccination centers and medical practices, 75 percent of adults over 18 years of age in Germany could be vaccinated by the end of July - According to an RKI study, this is roughly the number of people who want to be vaccinated. If Astrazeneca were still available as a vaccine, this goal could be achieved as early as early July.

However, these scenarios assume an ideal-typical course of the vaccination campaign. Any delivery bottlenecks by the manufacturers, problems with the distribution of vaccines and other unforeseeable factors cannot be taken into account in these simulations.

Astrazeneca stop especially problematic for risk groups

According to the CEO of the ZI, Dominik von Stillfried, the calculated delay of three to four weeks due to the Astrazeneca stop is particularly problematic for the risk groups. He told ZDF: "It's not just about when herd immunity is achieved, but when risk groups two and three receive initial protection."

Without Astrazeneca, people in the third risk group, i.e. those over 60 years of age or with previous illnesses, would not be fully protected until the end of May and would be exposed to a high risk of a severe course until then.

Doctors' offices play a central role

For the vaccination campaign to proceed quickly, it will therefore also be crucial to inoculate the large quantities of vaccine as soon as possible. It is true that the 433 German vaccination centers, in which injections are predominantly used up to now, are not yet fully utilized in many places. But by mid-April at the latest - even without Astrazeneca - the vaccination doses delivered should exceed the capacities of the centers, as the vaccination simulator shows. Without the involvement of around 50,000 medical practices in Germany, it will hardly be possible to prevent a vaccination backlog from this point on. Millions of vaccine doses would be stored unused.

If, for example, the medical practices in the above example are removed from the modeling with otherwise unchanged parameters, the vaccination target shifts from the end of July by two months to the end of September. Actually, the federal and state governments had agreed to allow doctors' practices to vaccinate nationwide from April. They wanted to advise on the exact start date and the vaccine quantities made available on Wednesday. However, due to the Astrazeneca stop, the decision was postponed.

Vaccination for everyone until Christmas

The simulator can also be used to run through other scenarios that are not included in the German vaccination strategy. If one assumes, for example, that doctors' practices are not allowed to vaccinate and that only 90 percent of the vaccine doses ordered are delivered, even with Astrazeneca it would take until the end of November before everyone in Germany over the age of 18 receives a first vaccination. In this case, everyone would not be fully vaccinated until Christmas.

Even if you calculate this scenario with 100 percent of the ordered delivery quantities, you get the same result. This shows that it is not just the delivery quantities that determine the speed of vaccination. The limited capacities of the vaccination centers are also decisive. The "vaccine turbo" can only be ignited with the help of the general practitioner.

The following factors were assumed for the various simulations:

No vaccination doses are withheld for second vaccinations.
It is estimated that 50,000 medical practices will perform 20 vaccinations a day, five days a week.
It is expected that there will be 433 vaccination centers, each carrying out 789 vaccinations per day.
Distance between first and second vaccination according to the information from the Standing Vaccination Commission.

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  • Subjects:
  • Digital,
  • Coronavirus,
  • Viral infection,
  • Vaccination,
  • Germany,
  • Vaccination appointment,
  • Corona pandemic,
  • Corona crisis,
  • Johnson & Johnson,
  • AstraZeneca,
  • Biontech,
  • Moderna