Proportion of Germans willing to get coronavirus vaccine sinking
As researchers around the world scramble to come up with a vaccine against COVID-19, fewer and fewer people in Germany would actually be willing to take it, according to a new survey. Scepticism is especially high in Bavaria.
Willingness to get vaccinated against corona declining
A new survey has found that the willingness to get vaccinated against coronavirus is declining - and not just in Germany. Between April and June this year, 7.000 people across seven European countries were polled on their attitudes towards a possible coronavirus vaccine. Researchers from the University of Hamburg coordinated with universities in Portugal, Italy and the Netherlands.
Back in April, 74 percent of respondents from Portugal, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, the UK and Germany said that they would be willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19. By June, however, the proportion had dropped to 68 percent.
Scepticism on the rise in Germany
The decline was particularly dramatic in Germany, where willingness tumbled from 70 percent to 61 percent in the space of three months.
While there was no noticeable east-west divide in attitudes towards a possible vaccine, the survey did uncover a pronounced difference between northern and southern Germany. In the northern state of Lower Saxony, for example, 67 percent of people said they would be willing to get vaccinated, compared to just 52 percent in Bavaria.
Concerns about side effects and safety
A national survey carried out by YouGov in early June found that just 50 percent of respondents in Germany were willing to get vaccinated - and 20 percent were firmly against the idea. However, Jonas Schreyögg, head of the Hamburg Centre for Health Economics, said that in their survey only a handful of respondents were staunchly opposed. “These people are not the problem,” he said.
Instead, what is troubling for Schreyögg, as well as other scientists and politicians, is the growing number of survey respondents who do not want to be vaccinated at the moment, or are unsure about it, due to concerns about potential side effects or a lack of clarity about the vaccine’s safety.
“To put it positively, this means that if we succeed in giving these people more security through transparency in the testing and approval of vaccines and with public awareness campaigns, and convincing them, the willingness to be vaccinated could be increased significantly,” Schreyögg said.
He recommends that politicians and scientists start these campaigns now. Currently, it is “very difficult” for anyone to get detailed information about the safety and side effects of vaccines. Since scientists and politicians are pinning their hopes on a vaccine to curb the spread of coronavirus and enable the full reopening of public life, achieving a high vaccination rate is crucial.