As Germany awaits vaccine, mass vaccination centers are built in less than a week

BERLIN — Under the curved brick-and-glass roof of the Arena Berlin, which began its life as a 1920s bus depot, workers raced to lay flooring and rig wiring for the building's newest metamorphosis: a mass vaccination center.

The 70,000-square-foot space on Berlin’s River Spree is one of scores of vaccination sites German authorities were scrambling to finish before a Tuesday deadline. Albrecht Broemmer is in charge of getting six in Berlin ready, and it’s tight.

“That’s my duty, but it’s hard work to get to it,” he said.
It’s an ambitious undertaking, as this WaPo article relates, but the country is going at it with considerable energy and dispatch (“The German approach could be watched closely by the United States and other countries around the world as they eye ways to vaccinate their populations as speedily as possible”—watched being the operative word in the US, as opposed to acted upon, at least until this regime is squeezed out).
Construction is underway in all 16 German states. The central state of Hessen has said it will have 28 centers ready before the week is out, with the capacity to vaccinate 28,000 a day. Michael Schaich, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry said that operations have been tested, including a “seamless logistics chain.”

“We are well prepared,” he said.
Jawohl! But should this really surprise us? After all, the Krauts are no slouches in the logistics department, having a proven track record of building networks of “treatment” facilities, and moving large numbers of people in and out of these with Teutonic efficiency.

OK, cheap shot aside, I should make clear that I regard modern Germany as among the most exemplary of the modern industrialized democracies. We should be so lucky as to have their leadership and their largely* sensible populace.


*Yeah, I know, AfD and sundry gamier recrudescences of the bad old days, but this country is scarcely in a position to point fingers.