"The European Medicines Agency recommends approval of the coronavirus vaccine." Just under two years ago, shortly before Christmas 2020, that was top news - and cause for great hope. At the time, the question of whether people would even want to be vaccinated was hardly being seriously asked outside of anti-vaccination circles.
Now, in early September 2022, the exact same news is out again, only this time it's about new vaccines adapted to a subtype of the Omicron variant. How much has happened since then can be seen not only from the fact that we have already arrived at the second half of the Greek alphabet with the letter Omicron, but also from the fact that vaccination readiness has long since become the central factor in pandemic development.
Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) therefore never tires of emphasizing the advantages of the new preparations. These also cover the new Omicron variants, he said on Thursday.
No one knows for sure what the current vaccination readiness looks like, specifically related to the new preparations, which are really only matched to an early version of Omicron.
56 percent of men, 48 percent of women would be vaccinated
The opinion research institute Civey conducted a survey on behalf of "Tagesspiegel Background Gesundheit" at the end of August. It asked in general whether people would have a vaccine adapted to Omicron injected.
The question did not differentiate between the variants. It is therefore unclear how the answers would have turned out if there had been an additional indication that the vaccine was tailored to the original variant that no longer occurs and not to the BA.4 and BA.5 that dominate today. The latter differ in the spike protein and thus the target of the vaccine from the first Omicron type.
With this restriction, the picture is as follows: 56 percent of men would be vaccinated, 35 percent would not, and nine percent were undecided. Among women, only 48 percent said yes, less than half. In the five eastern states, willingness to be vaccinated is lower overall. It would be 44 percent, men and women combined, according to the data from this survey.
Image by Fernando Zhiminaicela