Press release

German public overwhelmingly support equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments

Ensuring the people who most need access to vaccines and effective treatments against Covid-19, wherever they are in the world, is supported by almost 9 in 10 German adults.


A YouGov poll, commissioned by Wellcome, reveals that almost 9 in 10 (87%) of adults in Germany believe that national governments should work together to ensure that treatments and vaccines can be manufactured in as many countries as possible and distributed globally to everyone who needs them.

These results are published as World Health Assembly takes place (18-19 May), where world leaders are considering a global resolution to widen access to treatments, vaccines and diagnostics.

The poll of over 2,000 German adults also revealed: 

  • Over 8 in 10 people (84%) in Germany say COVID-19 treatments and vaccines should first be provided for those who need them most in the world and almost 8 in 10 people (79%) oppose the idea that they should first be provided to those who can afford them. 
  • Fewer than a third (30%) support the idea that treatments and vaccines should be first provided to those in the country in which they are first developed.  
  • Over three quarters of people (76%) in Germany think national governments shouldn't use treatments and vaccines to gain an upper hand in trade or diplomatic negotiations.
  • Over two thirds of people (67%) believe that if a treatment or vaccine is first discovered in Germany it should be made available around the world as quickly as possible, even if that means some people in Germany don't get it first.

In the global effort to find a COVID-19 vaccine, research is happening at an unprecedented pace. With over 100 possible COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development, these polling results demonstrate the public support for ensuring that global efforts are made to ensure that new vaccines are made available to those who need them most.

Caroline Schmutte, from Wellcome's policy team in Germany, said: “These polling results demonstrate that the German public wants vaccines and treatments to be made available first to those who need them most.

“We need vaccines and treatments that will work for the world. Any advances must be available to all countries equally, without exception.

"Equitable access cannot be achieved by one organisation or one country alone. It requires collective action on a global scale, with each country prioritising the needs of the most vulnerable everywhere.

“No country should consider reserving possible future vaccines and treatments for their use only. These results clearly show that this approach would not be supported by the people of Germany.

"No matter where they are developed or who funded them, all tests, medicines and vaccines for COVID-19 need to be available and affordable to everyone in the world who needs them."