ARCHIV - 25.11.2021, Baden-Württemberg, Gerlingen: Eine Frau zieht eine Dosis des Impfstoffes von Biontech/Pfizer für eine Corona-Impfung auf. Wer als Beschäftigter im Gesundheitswesen am Dienstag (15.03.2022) keine Impfung nachweisen kann, muss künftig unter Umständen mit arbeitsrechtlichen Konsequenzen rechnen. (zu dpa/lsw «Impfpflicht im Gesundheitswesen läuft an»). Foto: Marijan Murat/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

“The European Medicines Agency recommends the approval of the vaccine against the coronavirus.” Almost two years ago, shortly before Christmas 2020, that was the top news – and a reason for great hope. At the time, the question of whether people even wanted to be vaccinated was hardly ever seriously asked outside of anti-vaccination circles.

Well, in early September 2022, there is exactly the same message, only this time it is about new vaccines adapted to a subtype of the omicron variant. How much has happened since then can not only be seen from the fact that we have already reached the second half of the Greek alphabet with the letter omicron, but also from the fact that the willingness to vaccinate has long since become a central factor in the development of the pandemic.

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) therefore never tires of emphasizing the advantages of the new preparations. These also covered the new Omikron variants, he said on Thursday.

Nobody knows exactly what the vaccination readiness looks like at the moment, especially with regard to the new preparations, which are actually only tailored to an early version of Omikron.

The opinion research institute Civey carried out a survey on behalf of “Tagesspiegel Background Gesundheit” at the end of August. The general question was whether a vaccine adapted to Omicron would be injected. The question did not differentiate between the variants. It is therefore unclear how the answers would have been if there had been an additional indication that the vaccine was tailored to the original variant that is no longer available and not to the BA.4 and BA.5 that are dominant today. The latter differ in the spike protein and thus the target of the vaccine from the first omicron type.

With this restriction, the following picture emerges: 56 percent of men would be vaccinated, 35 percent would not, nine percent are undecided. For women, just 48 percent said yes, less than half. In the five eastern federal states, the willingness to vaccinate is lower overall. It would be 44 percent, men and women combined, according to the data from this survey.