Surprised by Germans reluctance to be vaccinated

alpine fenlander

Über Member
Interesting indeed, but not sure most Germans even know about the Prussians vaccinating southern Germans 150 years ago etc - certainly the first time I heard. So I doubt that's a big factor for anyone.

Also the conspiracy movements seem to be fairly similar in size to the ones in Britain going by the size of demonstrations etc.

Growing up in the 80s my parents didn't have any problem of having us all vaccinated against the usual, so it's not some inherent cultural dislike they have passed down to my sisters. I guess it's more likely the social media/ QAnon crap somehow filtering through to their communities, but I don't know if that applys to the rest who make up the 30% of antis.

Even more shocking is the 50% anti in France! What is going on there ?
 
50%. Zut alors.
 

PK99

Legendary Member
Location
SW19
Interesting indeed, but not sure most Germans even know about the Prussians vaccinating southern Germans 150 years ago etc - certainly the first time I heard. So I doubt that's a big factor for anyone.
Explicitly no, but things like that get embedded in common culture.
 

Unkraut

Master of the Inane Comment
Location
Germany
Of course, because the Germans are not in the least bit competitive or nationalistic.
Nationalistic - definitely not. Learnt the hard way just where nationalism takes you, and conversely the benefits of not always putting your own country first but considering the common good. Hardly patriotic even, and shouldn't imo remain in the shadow of Hitler just as the British shouldn't dwell in the glow of Churchill - or Agincourt!
As at 5 Mar, Germany had received 1.4M doses of Ox-AZ of which about a third have so far been administered. No rush. It seems to me this is clear evidence that Germany is not 'competitive' wrt vaccinating their population.
Perhaps I do need to repeat what I said earlier: The vaccines and their administration are not part of a competition to see who has the best country.

Supposing you compare the UK to New Zealand - the latter stamped the virus out for a while by reacting swiftly. Why didn't the UK? I'm sure you could instantly think of several reasons where the countries are very different, thereby invalidating such a comparison.

Compare the UK to Germany - Germany has borders with France, Austria, Czech, Poland all of which have had massive rates of infection. It's very difficult to stop this crossing borders, so keeping the German infection rate down has still been a pretty remarkable achievement.

As for the vaccine, apart from the EU failure coupled with the AZ delivery failure, any organisational failures are domestic. If Germany had gone down either nationalist route or combined with a couple of other bigger western countries, the domestic population might have been vaccinated quicker, but the countries bordering the country some of whom are suffering massive infection rates would have had to wait longer. I still think the non-nationalist route was the right one, the execution went wrong.

Why is it the business of the British what the rate of vaccination in Germany is? Because it it a "British" vaccine? The unwillingness to be vaccinated existed last year, but this is not the current situation, it will all be used. The British took a calculated risk, whereas the Germans are extremely risk averse, too much so in fact, but this is changing now. It was not unreasonable to withhold judgement about the AZ vaccine, at least during its initial use.
It's not so much of 'we think we're better than everyone else' but more of a 'we want to do the best we possibly can'. A generalisation of course, you get your nationalistic neo-nazis in all countries, but I think that's the majority cultural attitude.

Would be interesting to know @Andy in Germany and @Unkraut views from the opposite direction or if that is only my view?!
I think the successes of last year translated into complacency. Weaknesses in organisation - not vaccinations, but a comprehensive testing programme, IT updates etc. This is absolutely inexcusable. It is now (hopefully) being put right, but should never have been allowed to happen in the first place.

Individual cities/areas have seized the initiative on this and have done extremely well (e.g. Tübingen, no deaths in care homes), but when they report this to either the state/Land or central govt it doesn't make any impression. So the necessary test kits are not being ordered and delivered - at least not in sufficient quantities.

The PCR test and first working vaccine were both developed here, but the public has had to watch other countries make better use of and get on with both of them. There is huge discontent over the government's lack of dynamism over about the last 4 months.

It's frustrating to see politicians on the telly, increasingly aware of the coming general election, endlessly talking about their Konzept (plan) for dealing with the pandemic, and you want to shout at them 'get on with it, do something'!! Throwing something at the telly would be a waste of a flat screen! ^_^
 

Ajax Bay

Guru
Location
East Devon
Perhaps I do need to repeat what I said earlier: The vaccines and their administration are not part of a competition to see who has the best country.
That's why I said "It seems to me this is clear evidence that Germany is not 'competitive' wrt vaccinating their population."
If they were 'competitive' they'd be making better progress: as it is they're doing the best they can, given poor supply and reluctance to use Ox-AZ on over 65s (policy now changed) and apparent vaccine hesitancy nationally (but not as 'bad' as France - who are not being competitive either).
I suggest that the UK is not being 'competitive': they're just doing the best they can.
It's a race against the virus and its future variants, which needs to be run on both national and global racetracks.
The capitalist part of my make up suggests that without scientific, industrial and national/international shared endeavour, these vaccines would not have been produced with the efficacy, rate of development and huge quantity; so the world would be a poorer, iller place, in the round (in this respect, anyway).
I'll stop there: I have no blueprint for how the vaccination of the world is best managed.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000py6s
 
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mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
The capitalist part of my make up suggests that without scientific, industrial and national/international effort, these vaccines would not have been produced with the efficacy, rate of development and huge quantity; so [...]
The cooperative part of my make-up makes me highlight that "capital" was not one of the key things listed! Up the workers!
 
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AuroraSaab

Über Member
I'm not generally a fan of Merkel, but isn't that likely to be due to West Germany having to absorb the much poorer East Germany? It will take decades for the East to catch up.

I do think the idea of Germany efficiency is a bit of a myth though. There was certainly a long spell when the Wolfsburg VW plant was the least productive, least efficient in Europe.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
I'm not generally a fan of Merkel, but isn't that likely to be due to West Germany having to absorb the much poorer East Germany? It will take decades for the East to catch up.
East German states joined the Federal Republic under Kohl and there's been the Schröder governments in between, so probably not totally if it's more unequal under Merkel than Schröder left it.
 

deptfordmarmoset

Full time tea drinker
Location
Armonmy Way
Interesting indeed, but not sure most Germans even know about the Prussians vaccinating southern Germans 150 years ago etc - certainly the first time I heard. So I doubt that's a big factor for anyone.

Also the conspiracy movements seem to be fairly similar in size to the ones in Britain going by the size of demonstrations etc.

Growing up in the 80s my parents didn't have any problem of having us all vaccinated against the usual, so it's not some inherent cultural dislike they have passed down to my sisters. I guess it's more likely the social media/ QAnon crap somehow filtering through to their communities, but I don't know if that applys to the rest who make up the 30% of antis.

Even more shocking is the 50% anti in France! What is going on there ?
This is not an explanation but it gives some background: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/feb/15/french-distrust-vaccines-politicians
 

Unkraut

Master of the Inane Comment
Location
Germany
https://www.eurointelligence.com/column/pandemicgermany

On side note, during Merkel's regime Germany became the second most unequal (wealth) country in Europe
Interesting article, but a bit exaggerated. For example the incidence rate of 35 Merkel wanted has been abandonned in part, and instead depending on rates lower than 35, or up to 50 or up to 100 various sectors of the economy currently shutdown may re-open. An increasing rate will trigger a suitable lockdown again. In practice the current relaxations in effect amount largely to the lockdown continuing until the end of the month.
I'm not generally a fan of Merkel, but isn't that likely to be due to West Germany having to absorb the much poorer East Germany? It will take decades for the East to catch up.

I do think the idea of Germany efficiency is a bit of a myth though.
From a book on unification I recently read the West German national debt increased from DM 913 billion to DM 2130 billion to finance the rebuilding of the east.

Bringing up wages and pensions and other benefits so both parts are equal is taking a long time, bearing in mind the east was bankrupt and literally falling apart, museum piece industry, polluted beyond belief, and had never paid into the system they were to benefit from. Full equality has still not been achieved.

As for efficiency, even during my year abroad in the early 90's friends said this had already gone, and was a hallmark of the generation who rebuilt the country after WW2. Thoroughness is still the order of the day, and on starting work here I had to unlearn British bodging/that will do attitude and do things properly, even though I still think this can be taken to extremes!

Thoroughness before speed is hampering the vaccination programme.
 

alpine fenlander

Über Member
As for efficiency, even during my year abroad in the early 90's friends said this had already gone, and was a hallmark of the generation who rebuilt the country after WW2
Heretic! Hand back your German passport at once!

Didn't they teach you in your citizen lessons that our whole national marketing campaign is based on us pretending to be efficient, high quality engineering robots ;-)

Completely agree actually, sometimes mend and make do can really be hard to watch, e.g when they fill the same pothole for the 3rd time in a year. But then it's also silly when they dig up the road two miles in each direction just to be thorough...

It's one of the things Germans have always admired Brits for - their pragmatism, just getting things done before we'd even finished making a plan.

Just like the vaccination rollout really....
 
Misguided opinion and publicity from their senior government ministers, including the Chancellor herself, and similar from their neighbours in France, is what is driving the situation in Germany.

There's a deep irony here. After the EU falsely accused the UK of stealing their vaccines, France and Germany are now sitting on significant stocks of Astea Zeneca's vaccine for which there is little demand.

The first emergency of this scale since WWII and look at the mess the EU are making of it. I was a fence sitter thoruhout the B affair, but seeing how the EU and its major players are bungling their response Im now very glad we are out.
Drago I'm still pro eurp but the vaccine rollout for the EU has truly been a facepalm worthy event. They will be encouraging 30 year olds to get their vaccinations in blight before many EU states get round to their 55/60 year olds.
 
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