Mr. Hüttel, you and your team have developed a program called “Impfbrücke”, with which vaccine residues can be passed on quickly and easily. How does it work?
Manuel Hüttel: It’s actually quite simple. The vaccination center feeds our database with its Excel tables. It only contains the vaccination group and mobile phone number of those willing to be vaccinated. As soon as the vaccination center has residues, you can send a search message there and our program then randomly selects people from the vaccination group of the highest priority and sends an SMS offering to be vaccinated on the same day. The person can accept the offer via reply SMS and then go on their way. For each vaccination dose, the program currently sends SMS to three people at the same time. Whoever agrees first gets the appointment. If no one responded after 30 minutes, three new people are contacted.
Your program is currently being tested in the Duisburg vaccination center. How many vaccine residues have you already been able to convey?
The vaccination bridge has been in use there for ten days and was able to deliver 125 vaccination doses there.
How did you get the idea?
Already at the beginning of the year I noticed the problem with the distribution of leftover vaccine doses. I then phoned around a bit and spoke to people in vaccination centers. The assumption was then also confirmed. People cancel, do not come, too much vaccine is delivered, the vaccine has already thawed. The problem was always the same: how do you reach out to people to get rid of the processed vaccine?
Most centers use telephone lists or fall back on the emergency call centers to find people. But that is becoming more and more difficult because at some point everyone will be vaccinated. There was also a discussion about the question of the order. We thought it could be wonderfully automated. And then we just got started. Contact to Duisburg was then established via a private connection.
How long did you work on the program?
We have been dealing with the topic since mid-January. There are five of us and we developed the prototype for Duisburg within three weeks. It’s going very well and that’s why we’re continuing.
Would the vaccination bridge also be a solution to spread the controversial vaccine Astrazeneca?
Naturally. Our system doesn’t care what appointments are arranged. It just needs to be supplied with the correct data.
Do you already have other interested parties?
Not yet. We haven’t actively advertised it either, but the news that something is in use in Duisburg is slowly making the rounds. We are still in the process of refining the system, but of course we would be delighted if we could help to support the vaccination centers elsewhere.
How is the project financed?
We were fortunate that we found a sponsor during the research phase who enabled us to finance the development of the prototope. We’ll see how we cover operations and running costs in the medium and long term. We would of course be happy if we could win more partners and sponsors for the project. The biggest item in the long term will probably be the costs of sending SMS. A partnership with a telecommunications company would certainly be helpful here.
Source: Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger – Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger by www.ksta.de.
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