BACKGROUND: 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. METHODS: 9,990 telephone-based household surveys from age 14 were conducted between 2001 and 2006. Essentially, the same questionnaire was used in all seasons. RESULTS: The influenza vaccination coverage rate reached 32.5% in 2005/06. In the elderly (> or 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. CONCLUSION: 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.