News Release

Corona long-term effects: Just under half of the population feels well informed

Reports and Proceedings

BfR Federal Institute for Risk Assessment

Not every infection with the coronavirus is over after a few days or weeks: Even in mild cases, people can still suffer from symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue or muscle weakness weeks after infection. While "Long Covid" received little public attention at the beginning of the pandemic, this has changed in the meantime. However, many people in Germany still have the impression that there are gaps in their knowledge on this topic. This is a result of the current BfR-Corona-Monitor, a regular survey by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). Accordingly, 48 percent say they feel well informed about the long-term effects of a corona infection. “Here, a clear difference to the acute symptoms of an infection can be seen”, says BfR-President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. “More than two-thirds say they are well informed about this.”

Furthermore, 57 percent currently rate their level of information on the vaccination recommendations as good, while the figure for the current variants of the coronavirus is 45 percent. Compared to the last survey in mid-April 2022, both values dropped by nine percentage points. In addition, slightly fewer respondents feel well informed about the current infection numbers – this value decreased by four percentage points to 52 percent compared to the previous survey. 

A clear change can also be observed in the respondents' protective behaviour. In the current survey, 87 percent say they have worn masks in the past 14 days – before Eastern, 94 percent said so. An even more substantial decline can be seen in the proportion of those who kept more distance to other people. While 76 percent paid attention to this before the Easter holidays, this figure is now 64 percent. Many still rely on more frequent ventilation (65 percent) or on the Corona-Warn-App (40 percent) to protect themselves from an infection.

After the mask requirement was abolished in shops shortly before Easter, the proportion of people who considered the risk of infection in shops for daily needs to be high rose by 13 percentage points to 37 percent. In the current survey, this perception has now dropped again slightly, to 31 percent. Schools and day-care centres (64 percent) as well as public transport (61 percent) are still seen as the places with the highest risk of infection.

The BfR has published FAQs on the topic of coronavirus:

About the BfR-Corona Monitor

The BfR-Corona-Monitor is a recurring (multi-wave) representative survey on the risk perception of the population in Germany towards the novel coronavirus. Every week between 24 March and 26 May 2020, around 500 randomly selected people were asked by telephone about their assessment of the risk of infection and their protective measures, among other things. Since June 2020, the survey is continued every two weeks with about 1,000 respondents each. A summary of the data is regularly published on the homepage of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. More information about the method and sample can be found in publications about the BfR-Corona-Monitor.

About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. It advises the German federal government and German federal states ("Laender") on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version

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