The method of injection into GGD should be simpler and faster. This is the opinion of experts from a handful of major companies that have been working on an alternative to GGD’s designation system in recent weeks.
Phone line congestion, a lack of vaccinations in certain locations, and system malfunctions have made it difficult to scale up vaccinations in recent weeks. Their replacement system is much simpler and can prevent these problems, says logistics experts from ASML, Bol.com and Heineken, and logistics professor Jan Fransoo.
Experts approached the umbrella organization GGD GHOR and RIVM to create this system, but this offer was rejected after six weeks of consultation.
Paul Enders, who considered the alternative, as a logistics expert at chip maker ASML, thinks this is a shame. “The current system is not flexible. People first get a letter and then they have to set a date that sometimes they have to wait for a long time. If you want to increase the desire for vaccination among young people, you should move to a simpler system.”
Organize people automatically
In their opinion, the appointment system proposed by the experts is flexible. A person, regardless of their age, can do this Register online to get a screenshot. Only later the system searches for the appropriate date and place, which will be sent to the person via, for example, a Mail or SMS. Enders: “This allows RIVM and GGD to respond better to various factors, such as disappointing or better-than-expected vaccine deliveries, and you don’t have to contact thousands of people every time something changes.”
Last Thursday, RIVM and GGD stated that they do not want to extend the interval between Pfizer’s first and second injections, in part because all appointments will have to be canceled and rescheduled, causing the GGDs to overburden call centers.
In this system, we distribute the remaining vaccines at simple notice to all eligible persons.
Enders sees two additional advantages of his alternative system. “If a new vaccine is added, there is no need to send an email first. Registered people can be classified automatically.”
Residual vaccine doses can also be dispensed quickly at the end of the day. “And not with the Excel Tea at the GGD site, but with a simple notice to all the people who qualify for it.”
Not all callers are scheduled due to busyness
Since the end of last week, it has become possible to schedule an appointment online on your own, as soon as your year of birth arrives. This weekend, 135,000 of the 400,000 appointments were scheduled this way. RIVM also sends a letter to the age group it is taking over. With this letter, they can schedule an appointment themselves by calling GGD, who rents out a Teleperformance call center for this.
Call center staff say this News Hour That in recent months they were inundated with callers who couldn’t make an appointment for all of them, or that they had nothing to do for days on end.
Employees also spend relatively long time with the caller. It can sometimes take up to half an hour to fill out a long questionnaire. At the end of March, very few agreements were made at GGD, partly due to the preoccupation with the phone line. As a result, RIVM kept vaccines on the shelf and the vaccination goal was not met.
GGD: The problem is vaccine shortage
However, a spokesperson for GGD GHOR said that the system proposed by the logistics experts is not necessary. “Working with a hypothetical waiting list assumes that there are very few people who want to be vaccinated. But there is no shortage of people, but there is a shortage of the vaccine.”
According to the Department of Health (VWS), the current system is more flexible, because people have a choice among several options for appointments. A spokesperson said, “If you offered a specific time period, someone might not be able to, and we are wasting time.” What system is used to dispense vaccine residues is “we’ll see.”
More call center agents
This week, Public Health Minister Hugo de Jong informed the House of Representatives that the number of staff in the call center had been increased to around 9,500. In CoronIT’s recruitment and registration system, “infrastructure adjustments” were recently implemented, “to accommodate very large volumes. With test and vaccination dates, “says GGD GHOR today News Hour.
In January, according to the minister, this system will already operate “stably, whether for registrations or appointments.” But at the beginning of April, I encountered many unrest, with appointments not being set and vaccination numbers not being passed on.