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Restrictions boost popularity of COVID-19 jabs - German-Austrian survey

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Stricter coronavirus restrictions increase people’s willingness to receive the vaccine against the coronavirus, a survey in the German-Austrian border regions published showed on Wednesday.

The ban on entering public spaces in Austria for people who had not been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19, announced on Nov. 5, increased vaccination rates according to data from the survey centre of Germany’s Ifo Institute for Economic Research.

On the other hand, Austria’s lockdown for the unvaccinated from Nov. 15 did not significantly influence the willingness to vaccinate and a lockdown for everyone in the country starting Nov. 22 slightly reversed the trend, the institute said.

“Restrictions specifically for vaccine sceptics therefore appear to increase the willingness to get vaccinated more than a lockdown for all,” said Hannes Winner, professor of Economics at the University of Salzburg and co-author of the study.

The survey was conducted between Oct. 4 and Dec. 4, and looked at data about first vaccinations in 13 German and 16 Austrian districts along the countries’ national border.

Between the start and end of the survey, vaccination rates in the Austrian counties grew by about 7 percentage points and the German counties saw an increase of nearly 4 percentage points.

Writing by Miranda Murray; Editing by Zuzanna Szymanska

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