According to a study, the start of the corona vaccination campaign and the initial lack of vaccination recommendations for pregnant women had a significant impact on German family planning. The Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) announced on Tuesday in Wiesbaden that the average number of children per woman has fallen significantly below the level of previous years since the beginning of this year. While the birth rate fluctuated between 1.5 and 1.6 children per woman from 2015 to 2021, it fell to 1.3 to 1.4 in the first months of 2022.
According to the study, a major reason for the declining values is that women initially put off their desire to have children when the vaccination campaign started in spring 2021. Vaccination was initially not recommended for pregnant women. "It is plausible that some women wanted to be vaccinated before they became pregnant," explained BiB research director Martin Bujard.
The researcher explained that a clear temporal parallel can be seen between the start of the vaccination campaign and the decline in the birth rate nine months later. In the past 30 years - apart from seasonal influences - no such slump in the numbers is recognizable.
"The corona pandemic has had a significant impact on short-term birth patterns, which can also be seen in other European countries," explained Bujard. In May 2022, there were signs of a slight recovery in the birth rate in Germany (1.48), which could indicate an end to this postponement.