Rising willingness to vaccinate in Europe, survey finds

10 February 2021
Trust in vaccine up since November 2020, according to University of Hamburg

The willingness to be vaccinated and trust in vaccines to counter the coronavirus has risen in Germany and other European countries since November 2020, a survey by the University of Hamburg has found. Around 62 per cent of Germans are now willing to be vaccinated up from 57 per cent. Around six out of ten respondents believe that the available vaccines are safe. In terms of willingness to be vaccinated, Germany ranks second to last unlike Britain and Denmark, which lead the ranking with 80 per cent. Only France, with 48 per cent, has even fewer people willing to be vaccinated. 

More than 7,000 people in Germany, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Britain were surveyed between January 19 and February 1, 2021 for the bimonthly survey by the Hamburg Center for Health Economics (HCHE) at the University of Hamburg.

Willingness to vaccinate higher among well-informed respondents

"We see that young people, in particular, who were previously undecided, have now made a decision," said Prof. Dr. Jonas Schreyögg, Scientific Director of HCHE, adding: "It shows that willingness to vaccinate increases the more intensively someone is involved with current events." Thus, 78 per cent of those who follow the news very closely via TV and newspapers, for instance, would like to be vaccinated compared to only 42 per cent of those who are less informed. Around 48.2 per cent of people in Germany who would like to be vaccinated expressed no preference for any of the vaccines approved so far. If a choice of vaccine were possible, 33.3 per cent would opt for Biontech/Pfizer, 5.8 per cent for Moderna and only 2 per cent for AstraZeneca. Only 19 per cent of respondents in Germany favour postponing the second vaccination to cover more people first. Around 51 per cent of respondents in Germany oppose this measure unlike 41 per cent in Britain where the second vaccination is being undertaken later. 

Stricter adherence to regulations

Although respondents rate their risk of contracting coronavirus similar to levels in November 2020, more respondents are adhering to the restrictionsIn all the countries surveyed, the values for keeping a social distance (in Germany from 46 to 57 per cent) and avoiding hugs, kisses and handshakes have risen since November (in Germany from 66 to 73 per cent). Trust in the respective government’s information policy has remained almost unchanged in most countries. Germany ranked just after Denmark and the Netherlands, which had the highest scores in terms of trust.


Sources and further information

Corona-Studie 2020/21

Die Befragung erfolgt als Kooperationsprojekt des Hamburg Center for Health Economics der Universität Hamburg (HCHE), der Universitäten Nova School of Business and Economics (Portugal), Bocconi University (Italien) und Erasmus University Rotterdam (Niederlande). Für die repräsentative Studie werden seit April 2020 alle zwei Monate mehr als 7.000 Menschen in Deutschland, Dänemark, Frankreich, Italien, den Niederlanden, Portugal und dem Vereinigten Königreich befragt. Die aktuellen Ergebnisse beziehen sich auf den Befragungszeitraum zwischen dem 19. Januar und dem 1. Februar 2021.



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