Former Berlin airport is given a new status as a vaccination center

In view of the new development of vaccines against the spread of Sars-CoV-2, a former Berlin airport is being converted into a vaccination center. Tegel was finally closed in November 2020. It is expected that thousands of people will be walking through the doors every day soon. This is to come as soon as the Terminal C building is set up as a vaccination center against the novel coronavirus from mid-December.

How a former Berlin airport becomes a vaccination center

passengers in terminal c, former berlin tegel airport

Germany hopes to step up its vaccination campaign in the first quarter of 2021 and is already laying the foundation for 60 hubs across the country. While Health Minister Jens Spahn insists that vaccination will not be compulsory, Chancellor Angela Merkel told parliament on Thursday that vaccines represent “a light at the end of the tunnel” for Germany. The country has seen the number of cases stabilize since recreational and sports facilities and indoor restaurants closed in early November. However, the number of cases remains high. 22,268 new infections and 389 deaths were reported on Thursday. The winter will be hard, but “I think we will see significant progress next year,” said Merkel. The federal government will be responsible for purchasing and delivering the vaccination, while the regional states will provide the equipment and select the locations for the vaccination centers.

ex chief of the fire brigade albrecht broemme stands at tegel airport with a protective mask

In Tegel, the responsible authorities will be able to vaccinate 3,000 to 4,000 people a day. This is claimed by Albrecht Broemme, who is responsible for setting up the vaccination centers in the German capital. Another former airport, Tempelhof, which in the past was used in a variety of ways as a refugee center, velodrome and train station, has also been designated as a vaccination center. According to Dilek Kalayci, the Berlin health minister, it should be possible to vaccinate 20,000 people per day in the city of 3.8 million inhabitants with six centers spread over four strokes. Achieving this “will be an immense challenge,” she admits. Priority is given to those in need of protection or those who are particularly exposed to the virus, such as health care workers. The centers must be open every day, including weekends, from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m..

The concept behind the project

tower at berlin tegel airport and terminal c become vaccination center during covid 19 pandemic

Broemme, a 60-year-old former firefighter, said he worked out his plans for the Tegel vaccination center to run smoothly using a Lego set and built a model out of multi-colored bricks with sidewalks and reception center. According to him, the general idea is to vaccinate as many people as possible one after the other. In addition, he developed a system and thought about how many cabins space would be needed to avoid bottlenecks. Every visitor follows a set path from registration to the actual stitch. Then there is a consultation with a doctor and finally the vaccinated person goes to the waiting room. This is done while the final checks are being carried out. The injection itself only takes two minutes and is done while sitting in a chair. Although work on converting Terminal C has not yet started, it has been sealed with metal fences, barbed wire and adequate security.

medical worker in protective clothing holding coronavirus vaccine

Efforts are currently focused on recruiting not just doctors and nurses, but logistics and support staff as well. Security guards are also employed in the event anti-vaccination activists attempt to block access to the building. There is already a shortage of hospital staff in Germany. As a result, the authorities hope to have recourse to retired nurses, medical students and even unemployed flight attendants. In Berlin, 200 to 250 people will be employed in each vaccination center. Strict rules are put in place to prevent the spread of infection. These include the mandatory wearing of masks and social distancing.