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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Trends in influenza vaccination coverage rates in Germany over five seasons from 2001 to 2006

Majbrit V Holm1, Patricia R Blank2 and Thomas D Szucs2*

Author Affiliations

1 European Center of Pharmaceutical Medicine, University of Basel, 4031 Basel, Switzerland

2 Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Zurich, 8001 Zurich, Switzerland

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2007, 7:144  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-7-144

Published: 10 December 2007



To assess influenza vaccination coverage from 2001 to 2006 in Germany, to understand drivers and barriers to vaccination and to identify vaccination intentions for season 2006/07.


9,990 telephone-based household surveys from age 14 were conducted between 2001 and 2006. Essentially, the same questionnaire was used in all seasons.


The influenza vaccination coverage rate reached 32.5% in 2005/06. In the elderly (≥60 years), the vaccination rate reached 58.9% in 2005/06. In those aged 65 years and older, it was 63.4%. Perceiving influenza as a serious illness was the most frequent reason for getting vaccinated. Thirteen percent of those vaccinated in 2005/06 indicated the threat of avian flu as a reason. The main reason for not getting vaccinated was thinking about it without putting it into practice. The major encouraging factor to vaccination was a recommendation by the family doctor. 49.6% of the respondents intend to get vaccinated against influenza in season 2006/07.


Increasing vaccination rates were observed from 2001 to 2006 in Germany. The threat of avian influenza and the extended reimbursement programs may have contributed to the recent increase.