Monday, January 25, 2021
Allocation of vaccination appointments in NRW starts as a fiasco
The allocation of vaccination appointments in North Rhine-Westphalia that started in the morning does not work. The website was either not accessible at all or showed the users an “unexpected error”. In the morning no appointments could be made via the hotline either.
In the past few days, the over 80-year-olds in North Rhine-Westphalia who do not live in old people’s homes have received letters from the state’s Ministry of Social Affairs with the information that appointments will start at 8 a.m. today. To register, you can either call 116117 or use the website www.116117.de, which other federal states also use to organize appointments. The site is operated by the medical on-call service of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians.
A woman from North Rhine-Westphalia, who tried to organize an appointment for her mother from another federal state, expressed her indignation to ntv.de. She got through by phone, but then had to be told that she would not get an appointment because she was not calling from NRW. It is unclear whether the information given to her is correct: “This was explained to me in bad German,” said the woman.
Another woman reported to ntv.de that she too got through the hotline. She was told that an appointment could not be made at the moment because the servers were overloaded. Since the hotline and online booking went through the same server, not a single appointment could be made that morning. A third user complained that the type of appointment allocation was unreasonable: “ The whole system is designed so that old people are overwhelmed. How should old people without children or grandchildren ever get an appointment for a vaccination?”
The website later indicated that all appointments were fully booked. Users from Hessen report that this was also the case there on the first day the appointment was made, but that it turned out to be wrong during the course of the day. In the course of the first day of registration, appointments were still available.
In the table of the vaccination quota in Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia ranks third from last for first vaccinations; there were fewer first vaccinations only in Baden-Württemberg and Hesse.