Berlin - Even the line on Sunday was long. Hundreds of people queued once again for the third day of Berlin's first location-specific vaccination program. The idea was to provide vaccinations in areas with especially high incidences. Easily. With little red tape. Official ID cards or an Anmeldung for the area were all that was needed to get a first Moderna jab or the one-time Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the gym at the Köllnischen Heide school.
"All in all, it was very well received," Falko Liecke (CDU), a Neukölln health official, said on Sunday. He was surprised at the number of young people who showed up "but our goal was to offer the vaccine to older people from immigrant families that live in cramped living conditions."
The programmes's 2,400 doses were most likely all used during the three days, he said. Twice as many as planned, because Liecke had the foresight to order extra from the Berlin government. Moderna proved more popular because of remaining hesitancy with Johnson & Johnson - something he'll consider when ordering for a future programme.
"I think it's very good and progressive that we're getting it earlier than planned," said 23-year-old Marko, who learned about the programme from a flyer on his door. "I don't just want to protect myself, but also at-risk patients in my environment."
Hamza, an Iraqi refugee, read about the programme online and brought his 70-year-old mother.
"It's good for us and others," he said in English. "I am also worried about my mother, she is older." Because he forgot proof of his address, only his mother could get vaccinated.
Information on the vaccines is available, also in Arabic, but most prefer Moderna.
"Since the protection is better, I'll get vaccinated twice," said 37-year-old Ilonka. She has heard that the campaign, based on the Neukölln model, will be continued elsewhere.
Graphic designer Rolf showed up Friday for vaccination but the wait was too long. Sunday he showed up armed with a stool and a book and landed a Johnson & Johnson jab. The vaccine is good against Covid-19 but his stool is his vaccination for lower back pain.
"I actually wanted to shout hallelujah," he said. "I just miss life, that I can have a night out or go on vacation."
A 57-year-old woman, who wouldn't give her name, waited for her daughter to be vaccinated. Since she doesn't live in the area, she can't get vaccinated.
"It's annoying that others get it earlier," she said.