Poll: Majority of Germans doubt Germany will meet September vaccination target

Almost two-thirds of Germans don't believe that Germany will be able to keep its promise of offering a Covid-19 vaccine to everyone who wants one by September 21st.

Poll: Majority of Germans doubt Germany will meet September vaccination target

Only 23 percent of Germans believe that the country will be able to meet this target, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, citing a DPA-commissioned YouGov poll.

As many as 62 percent don’t think it will happen, while 15 percent did not give an answer.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has repeatedly given September 21st as the date by when all adults in Germany will have been offered a vaccine.

But Germans’ confidence in this promise has seemingly waned over the past couple of months. 

A similar YouGov poll from the start of February showed that 26 percent still believed that the goal would be achieved, the paper reported.

Even then, 57 percent of people questioned did not have faith in the promise.

READ ALSO: GPs in Germany call for vaccines to be given according to health not age

There is scepticism within the voting ranks of Merkel’s own party, too.

Fifty-three percent of CDU and CSU voters do not think vaccinations will be offered to everyone by the end of the summer, the paper said.

And the percentage among the other parties represented in Germany Bundestag, its lower house of parliament, is even lower.

Sixty-one percent each of Green and Die Linke party voters think the target is unrealistic.

The remaining parties are even more sceptical: 63 percent of SPD voters, 73 percent of FDP voters and as many as 82 percent of the voters for Germany’s nationalist, right-wing AfD party don’t think the country will meet its goal.

Vaccination levels in Germany have lagged behind the UK and the US, but are gradually picking up speed.

The below chart shows the difference in the proportion of the two populations who have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

With all general practitioners able to offer vaccinations in their practices after Easter, it’s hoped that vaccination levels will increase further.

By the end of April, family doctors’ surgeries should have more than three million doses of vaccine available each week, Germany’s Health Minister, Jens Spahn, said last week.

READ ALSO: Germany’s Health Minister promises more freedom to those fully vaccinated

The poll shows that vaccine willingness in Germany has slipped slightly since January when a similar poll indicated that 67 percent of people said that they wanted to get a vaccine.

The latest figure stands at 57 percent, plus the 8 percent who have already been vaccinated.

Eighteen percent do not want to have the vaccine and 16 percent have not yet decided or didn’t want to say.

On Easter Monday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported 8,497 new Covid-19 infections within the last 24 hours and a further 50 deaths.

The below RKI chart from April 4th shows the geographical distribution of cases around the country for the last seven days, with the darkest areas representing regions with the greatest numbers of coronavirus cases.

The seven-day incidence rate also rose to 128 from 127 a day earlier.

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Court turns down AfD-led challenge to Germany’s spending in pandemic

The German Constitutional Court rejected challenges Tuesday to Berlin's participation in the European Union's coronavirus recovery fund, but expressed some reservations about the massive package.

Court turns down AfD-led challenge to Germany's spending in pandemic

Germany last year ratified the €750-billion ($790-billion) fund, which offers loans and grants to EU countries hit hardest by the pandemic.

The court in Karlsruhe ruled on two challenges, one submitted by a former founder of the far-right AfD party, and the other by a businessman.

They argued the fund could ultimately lead to Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, having to take on the debts of other EU member states on a permanent basis.

But the Constitutional Court judges ruled the EU measure does not violate Germany’s Basic Law, which forbids the government from sharing other countries’ debts.

READ ALSO: Germany plans return to debt-limit rules in 2023

The judgement noted the government had stressed that the plan was “intended to be a one-time instrument in reaction to an unprecedented crisis”.

It also noted that the German parliament retains “sufficient influence in the decision-making process as to how the funds provided will be used”.

The judges, who ruled six to one against the challenges, did however express some reservations.

They questioned whether paying out such a large amount over the planned period – until 2026 – could really be considered “an exceptional measure” to fight the pandemic.

At least 37 percent of the funds are aimed at achieving climate targets, the judges said, noting it was hard to see a link between combating global warming and the pandemic.

READ ALSO: Germany to fast-track disputed €200 billion energy fund

They also warned against any permanent mechanism that could lead to EU members taking on joint liability over the long term.

Berenberg Bank economist Holger Schmieding said the ruling had “raised serious doubts whether the joint issuance to finance the fund is in line with” EU treaties.

“The German court — once again — emphasised German limits for EU fiscal integration,” he said.

The court had already thrown out a legal challenge, in April 2021, that had initially stopped Berlin from ratifying the financial package.

Along with French President Emmanuel Macron, then chancellor Angela Merkel sketched out the fund in 2020, which eventually was agreed by the EU’s 27 members in December.

The first funds were disbursed in summer 2021, with the most given to Italy and Spain, both hit hard by the pandemic.