"Impfbrücke" is the name of a project with which a Cologne software company wants to prevent vaccination doses from having to be thrown away if candidates do not show up for the vaccination appointment or if there is enough vaccine left in the ampoules for another dose.
The idea of the two Cologne entrepreneurs Pirmin Straub and Manuel Hüttel from “Lit Labs” is simple: They want to call possible vaccination candidates to the vaccination center quickly via SMS as soon as a dose of active ingredient is available.
To do this, they want to cooperate with the vaccination centers.
The “vaccination bridge” program selects three possible candidates from a list of registered patients using a random generator and sends an alarm SMS: Please report immediately and come to the vaccination center.
Whoever contacts you first and appears, will be given the remaining vaccine dose.
The program uses data from the respective vaccination center, so only people are notified for whom a vaccination appointment was already planned in the near future.
In this way, the “vaccination bridge” prevents the doses from being allocated for the corona vaccination contrary to the prioritization rules.
The creators behind the program initially offered this to the health authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia, and operations are currently being tested in Duisburg.
The result: Within 10 days, a good 120 people received the Covid19 immunization, the doses of which would otherwise have ended up in the trash.
According to an interview with the “Kölner Stadtanzeiger”, the developers came up with the idea in mid-January after hearing about the vaccine's short shelf life: Once the vaccine has frozen out, it can only be used for a few hours and must after the deadline be disposed of.
Currently, people who are offered the AstraZeneca vaccine often fail to attend their vaccination appointments - in Cologne, for example, according to a WDR report, a good 40 percent of vaccination candidates have stayed at home in the past few days and let their vaccination appointments expire.
Across Germany, many people who are vaccinated are currently refusing the AstraZeneca vaccine - medical staff in particular often cancel.
Medical associations had previously spoken out against vaccinating the AstraZeneca vaccine to doctors and nurses, as they feared that it would be less effective, especially against the new virus variants.