Germany targets neighborhoods at risk: ‘just handing out leaflets doesn’t help’

It’s ten in the morning and it’s raining cats and dogs. However, there is a really long line in front of the Impfmobil in Kuln County in Kalk. With these portable injection buses, doctors go to disadvantaged neighborhoods, to make vaccination threshold as low as possible and to convince people.

People in line are not angry: “I’m so happy that it’s possible now. I have asthma, but I didn’t get an appointment through my doctor. Now it’s my turn anyway,” says a woman. Only Kalk residents are eligible. They are vaccinated with the Janssen vaccine, so only one injection is needed. “This is much faster than ever having to make an appointment. My parents will also come this afternoon,” says a boy on the waiting list.

Committed drivers say: You can’t reach these people just by handing out flyers. So many German cities have recently started offering targeted vaccinations in neighborhoods where infection rates are high and the desire for vaccination is low.

Lime is one of those ‘soziale Brennpunkte’. Many people live on low income or on benefits. More than fifty percent of the population has an immigrant background. Cologne began as the first German city to launch a hole-punch campaigns in these neighborhoods, when research showed that the pollution level there was sometimes ten times higher than in the affluent neighborhoods nearby.

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