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Company doctors in Germany call on politicians to allow them to vaccinate staff

Company doctors in Germany call on politicians to allow them to vaccinate staff

Company doctors in Germany call on politicians to allow them to vaccinate staff

Company doctors in Germany have called on politicians to allow them to vaccinate employees, arguing that they could contribute significantly to Germany’s vaccine programme.

Company doctors ready to join the vaccine drive

Over a month ago, the company doctors’ association VBDW complained that Germany’s vaccination programme was too slow and suggested that company doctors should be allowed to vaccinate employees. Company doctors, they reasoned, not only had experience with administering jabs to large groups of people, but also had the necessary infrastructure in place to do so.

There are over 10.000 doctors working for a company in Germany, and the head of the VBDW, Wolfgang Panter, believes they could make a significant contribution to Germany’s vaccination programme and controlling the spread of the coronavirus. "We could vaccinate five million employees in a month," Panter told reporters.

Politicians need to make a decision

Before company doctors can begin vaccinating employees, they must first wait for the green light from politicians. However, there are several decisions that must be considered before companies can use their own doctors to vaccinate their employees. Among others, these decisions include the supply of the vaccine, if the workforce needs to be split into priority groups, and which vaccine will be offered to employees.

There is also the question of whether the vaccine supply is big enough for company doctors to contribute to the vaccination programme. The ongoing saga with the AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines have seriously affected Germany’s vaccine supply, and the European Medicines Agency has still yet to approve the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.

Companies in Germany ready to start vaccinating

Several companies in Germany are waiting for the green light to start vaccinating their employees. Volkswagen has already announced that it is ready to vaccinate up to 15.000 employees every week at vaccination centres across Germany. In fact, Volkswagen has already vaccinated over 100 staff as part of a pilot project at its Zwickau site in Saxony. "We've expanded our testing strategy with self-testing kits, and we've introduced measures to vaccinate across the board," said Gunnar Kilian, head of HR at Volkswagen. "In Wolfsburg alone, we can vaccinate over 8.800 people in five days."

Even smaller companies have come forward and said they have the necessary framework in place to vaccinate their employees. "We would like to start vaccinating our employees with the help of our company doctors as soon as possible," said Florian Feimann, spokesman for the Meyer Werft shipyard in northwestern Germany. "We have been planning this since the beginning of the year and are in talks with the relevant authorities."

Feimann said the plan was to first vaccinate its 3.600 employees, after that the company has plans to potentially offer relatives of employees the vaccine, as well as employees from partner companies.

A recent report revealed that most of Germany’s 30 biggest companies are already making vaccination plans. Some international companies, including Volkswagen and Bosch, have even already started vaccinating staff based in other countries

William Nehra

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William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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