Some 57% of Germans want COVID-19 vaccines to be made mandatory for people over the age of 18, a new Deutschlandtrend survey released on Thursday by public broadcaster ARD has revealed. That represents an 11-point rise on the figure from August 2021.
The German government still opposes such a measure.
An even bigger majority of people, 74%, believe that people in certain professions, particularly in medical, health and other care work, should be required to get the vaccine, according to the survey.
Broken down according to supporters of the main German political parties, the Infratest dimap survey found that the biggest support for mandatory vaccines was among the center-right and center-left parties, respectively Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democrats (SPD), the latter being likely to lead the next German government. In both cases, support for mandatory vaccines was above 70%.
Even a narrow majority of supporters of the neoliberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) were in favor of mandatory vaccines (53%), while 56% of Green Party supporters were in favor.
The only parties' supporters who are against mandatory vaccines were those of the socialist Left Party (45% in favor, 55% against), and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), (22% in favor, 71% against).
More and more people want stricter rules
The survey appears to reflect growing concern about the accelerating spread of the coronavirus in Germany, with more support for stricter rules compared to last month. Most people, however, still think the current rules are adequate.
Some 46% of people think the current rules for restricting the COVID infection rate are appropriate, a 14-point drop since the last time the question was asked four weeks ago.
At the moment, public events and restaurants are all open in Germany, though most require either proof of vaccination, proof of recovery or a negative test.
There has been a significant rise in the proportion of people who think current measures do not go far enough: 29%, up from 13% in early October. The percentage of people who think the current measures go too far has fallen slightly, from 25% to 23% in the same period.
COVID concerns, support for CDU spiraling
A majority of Germans are also concerned about the various consequences of coronavirus.
The survey found that 62% are worried that older people could get seriously ill, 58% are worried that the health care system could become overburdened and 57% are worried that unvaccinated children could get infected with the virus. By contrast, only 24% of people are worried about getting infected themselves.
Meanwhile, the CDU's malaise has continued in opinion polls. Having lost the national election in September with only 24% of the vote, support for the conservative party has now dropped even further to 21%.
The party that has dominated German politics throughout the postwar era is now at its lowest ebb ever, and is likely facing at least five years in opposition. But it will be hoping for better fortunes once it has elected a new leader in January.
Meanwhile, the Social Democrats, led by Finance Minister and likely next Chancellor Olaf Scholz, has slightly increased in popularity since winning the election, and is now supported by 27% of Germans.
The SPD's probable coalition partners, the Greens and the FDP, have both also seen small rises in support.