Growing dissatisfaction among Germans, corona survey finds

3 May 2021
Majority in favour of lifting prioritised vaccination – increasing willingness to vaccinate, HCHE survey finds

Around half of Germans disapprove of management of the corona crisis in 2021 marking a reversal of the positive trend at the start of the pandemic, a survey by the by the Hamburg Center for Health Economics (HCHE) at University of Hamburg has found. Although the majority has expressed dissatisfaction with the current vaccination management, readiness to be vaccinated continues to rise. More than 7,000 people in Germany, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Britain were surveyed between April 2 and 16, 2021.

Anti-corona measures ineffective - majority finds

In Germany, trust in the government's information policy has dropped eight percentage points since January 2021, the survey found. The majority of Germans view the current measures as ineffective.  “Those who do not trust the information, also refuse to be vaccinated,” said Prof. Dr. Jonas Schreyögg, Scientific Director of HCHE. The same applies to people who have little information about the pandemic. Their willingness to be vaccinated comes to only 38 per cent compared to 79 per cent of well-informed people.

Vaccination readiness continues to rise

Scientists have noted an increasing willingness to be vaccinated in almost all European countries since January 2021. This figure rose from 62 to 67 per cent in Germany. “In Germany, we are seeing an increased willingness to be vaccinated, particularly among 25 to 34-year-olds - that is, those who already had quite a high incidence rate in previous weeks,” said Schreyögg. Willingness to be vaccinated in that group has increased from 46 to 60 per cent since January. However, one in three respondents in that age group indicated that they did not trust the safety of the vaccines.

While almost half the population in Germany had no preference for a specific vaccine in January, that number has since dropped to 26 per cent. Now, 50 per cent of the population would opt for the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine, with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine coming second with only 7 per cent; 29 per cent say they would openly reject the AstraZeneca vaccine. 

Removing vaccination sequence

The fixed vaccination sequence is to be lifted in Germany by June at the latest, according to the German government. Six out of ten respondents came out in favour of lifting the prioritization. More than 40 per cent of respondents said corona management will influence their voting decisions. In terms of more freedom for vaccinated people and lifting corona-induced restrictions, Germans remain cautious compared to other European countries. 


Sources and further information

Corona Survey 2020/21

The survey is conducted as a collaborative project between the Hamburg Center for Health Economics at the University of Hamburg (HCHE), the universities Nova School of Business and Economics (Portugal), Bocconi University (Italy) and Erasmus University Rotterdam (Netherlands). More than 7,000 people in Germany, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Britain have surveyed every two months since April 2020. 

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