Almost half a million people live in the Ortenaukreis in Baden-Württemberg. In terms of area, the district with cities such as Offenburg, Rust and Achern is the largest in the southwest.

It is known for the Kinzig Valley, which is popular with holidaymakers, or the Europapark Rust on the A 5. If you take stock of the vaccination policy in the pandemic on the basis of this district, the result is not very flattering.

Rudiger Soldt

Political correspondent in Baden-Württemberg.

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The non-party, CDU-affiliated District Administrator Frank Scherer and the coordinator responsible for the vaccination campaign in the District Office, Diana Kohlmann, make no secret of it.

Scherer recently said that he could no longer take the corona management of the green-black state government and the federal government seriously, and his employee added: "Due to the closure of the vaccination centers at the end of September, vaccinations were not vaccinated at the rate that would have been possible for two and a half months . "

From the Ministry's point of view, the centers were too expensive

In mid-August, the district still operated a large district vaccination center with a maximum capacity of 1000 vaccinations and vaccinated 400 people per day. "But you had to expect a wave of booster vaccinations in November because most of the second vaccinations during our good vaccination times - 3000 vaccinations per day in Offenburg alone - were made in May."

The State Ministry of Health sees things differently: “In September 2021, the recommendation was only to boost groups over sixty and vulnerable groups at the earliest after six months. There was no recommendation for anyone else. ”From the Ministry's point of view, the poorly utilized centers were too expensive. Kohlmann says her district offered to downsize the center, but that was ignored in Stuttgart. The mobile vaccination teams were disbanded on August 15, and the district vaccination centers were closed on September 30.

Germany was in the federal election campaign, the politicians in Berlin and Stuttgart wanted to give the citizens hope. The Baden-Württemberg district council also spoke out in favor of closing the vaccination centers. The president of the district assembly, Joachim Walter (CDU), said at the time that it was part of "general normality" if the corona vaccinations were now taken over by the family doctors. The districts terminated all employment contracts for doctors and security personnel, they did not extend rental contracts, sent furniture, medical equipment and computers to the Ministry in Stuttgart or returned them to the leasing companies.

The green-black state government feared criticism from the Court of Auditors.

The resident doctors, organized in the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KV), had already called in the summer of last year to end vaccination in the vaccination centers from October onwards.

In November at the latest it turned out that the practices were overwhelmed.

In addition, a family doctor receives a corona vaccination at 28 euros.

In well-organized vaccination centers that cooperate with large clinics, the costs per vaccination are said to have only been between ten and twenty euros.

"Then the computers from Stuttgart didn't come"

It was not until the end of September that the districts found out what the new structures should look like: A total of 24 new mobile vaccination teams were to be put together at twelve clinics.

That couldn't be enough for a country with eleven million citizens.

“Tour plans had to be rewritten and teams split up.

Fortunately, this happened quickly in the Ortenau district because we were able to fall back on the tried and tested structure of the German Red Cross, ”says Kohlmann.

However, the Freudenstadt district now also had to be supplied.

It is sometimes a two-hour drive from Offenburg - and every Black Forest mayor wanted to see the vaccination team in the center of the village straight away.