Germany’s largest Covid jab site ready for business

HAMBURG (AFP) – Spaces to queue up are already marked out on the way to the 64 miniature doctors’ offices where thousands of people per day will be vaccinated against Covid-19 in Hamburg.

Only the green light from the European Union (EU) is needed for Germany’s largest single vaccination site to spring into action, the brand-new equipment sitting ready in the vast congress centre of the northern port city.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected to rule today, the final step before Brussels can give the go-ahead, and Germany hopes to start vaccinating on December 27.

“We’re ready. The procedures have been tested… the only thing we need now is the vaccine,” said the city’s Senator for Health and Social Affairs Melanie Leonhard.

Hamburg has opted for a large-scale solution to get the vaccine out as fast as possible.

Spread over 11,000 square metres, the spaces in the congress centre will be able to handle 7,000 daily inoculations, with a large staff of doctors and care personnel supervised by six
senior physicians.

Vaccination will be voluntary in Hamburg and at the more than 400 other sites spread across the country of 80 million.

Those opting for the jab will need about an hour to get past the registration desk and into one of the injection cubicles, with a rest stop afterwards where they will be watched for side effects or allergic reactions. The city has also laid on translators and interpreters to surmount any language barriers, while there will be a fast-track queue for less-mobile people.