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Germany: Chaos on registration for vaccination; cancelled visits, confused patients

Overloaded systems, cancelled visits, confused patients. In addition to the hardly available vaccine, the digital capture disaster is the second major problem Germany is now facing. Many people can not make an appointment at all – alarms daily ” Welt “.

For a week now, Hesse citizens have been able to register online for the coronavirus vaccine – at least in theory. In practice, the vaccination registration system and the associated hotlines collapsed in a very short time. There were too many people willing to vaccinate.

This applies not only to Hesse. In Thuringia, another vaccination registration system had already failed a week earlier, and those responsible for its operation explained it with a hacker attack. There is no online system at all in Brandenburg, just a congested telephone line. “There are many more examples,” Welt writes on Monday.

Almost every federal state has launched its own vaccination registration system, and almost all have problems.

The Federal Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, was already in the fall wondering how vaccination registration could be carried out uniformly throughout the country.


Experts from the Ministry of Health have selected the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Doctors (KBV) to coordinate vaccination registration as its task is to implement joint projects for the national KVB medical associations. Such a project is, for example, the national hotline 116117 – thanks to it KBV already has experience in organising visits of many patients in offices across the country.

Consequently, according to Spahn’s plan, KBV could also take over and host the vaccination registration software. This was the resolution of the Conference of Health Ministers, which was adopted in early November. The KBV provides a “standard module” which the federal state-level statutory health insurance practitioners should then use when scheduling vaccination dates. But the federal states were trying to find their own solutions.

“Well, that was our offer,” explains KBV spokesman Roland Stahl, adding, “of course we cannot force the Länder to use it.” Currently, the KBV module is used in Saxony-Anhalt, Baden-Württemberg, Hamburg and North Rhine-Westphalia.

It is not clear why other countries prefer to use their own call centers, web portals and software solutions.

In Lower Saxony, they say that they have not always had positive experiences with the availability of the 116117 hotline in the past. They want to avoid overloading it. That is why they commissioned a company from Lower Saxony to develop a system that would be “safe”. “If it starts at all. Because Lower Saxony will only schedule online appointments from the end of January, ”notes Welt


The Land of Thuringia withdrew from the federal offer as early as November and preferred to build its own system instead. Apparently, they did not want to charge the medical staff on the number 116117 “additional telephone reservation”. Thuringia’s own website was launched on December 30, but only for a short time.

The server crashed on the day it was launched – 160,000 requests were overloaded. Several hundred people who made an appointment for vaccination via the portal on the day of commencement, did not receive an e-mail with a confirmation link. Reserved terms have expired.

“In Berlin, perhaps the most complex solution of all has been built,” writes the paper. As it turns out, “Health Senator Dilek Kalayci has selected the French start-up Doctolib in a tender. Berliners can arrange vaccinations via the platform or the app – but for that they first need an invitation that comes by mail. “

Anyone who receives the letter can make an appointment. However, not for vaccinations, but only for an initial interview. But this, for many Berliners, is just a theory: since there is not enough vaccine available, few people receive invitations.
Nowadays, many people cannot make an appointment at all. Even a relatively small group of 80-year-olds is overloading the federal state vaccination regime. What will happen when immunisation of more age groups begins? Wonders the Welt.