Sixty-seven percent of South African adults say they would definitely or probably take the Covid-19 vaccine if it became available, according to a new study released on Monday from the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Centre for Social Change.
The survey was done in partnership with the Human Sciences Research Council’s (HSRC) Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES) research division and it was conducted online through the Moya Messenger app with 10,618 participants between 29 December and 6 January. The questionnaire was also available in the country’s six most widely spoken languages.
According to its findings of the survey, 18% of adults said they would definitely or probably not take the vaccine, while 15% of adults said they did not know if they would agree to be inoculated.
The findings of the survey were also weighted by race, education and age, and were broadly representative of the population at large.
The survey showed that race, education, and age played a role in shaping vaccine acceptance.
Sixty-nine percent of black African adults said they would definitely or probably take the vaccine, compared with 55% of white adults. Acceptance among adults with less than matric-level education was 72%, compared with 59% for those with tertiary education.
Acceptance was 63% among adults aged between 18 and 24, and 74% for those aged 55 and older.
It seems like politics also played an important role when it comes to vaccination, according to the survey’s findings.
“In terms of voting intention, acceptance was as follows: ANC 78%, DA 65%, EFF 62%, and other parties 67%. Among those who did not intend to vote, acceptance was much lower, only 48%,” the researchers said in a statement.
“Among those who thought the president was doing a good or very good job in handling the Covid-19 outbreak, acceptance was 73%, but among those who thought, he was doing a bad or very bad job, it was only 36%.”
Professor Narnia Bohler-Muller from the HSRC said the survey their analysised shows that vaccine hesitancy came down to a range of legitimate concerns about a vaccine developed and rolled-out in record time, as well as some distrust in the government and corporations.
“We need a vaccine literacy campaign that provides factual information that will sway the waverers,” Bohler-Muller said.
(Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe)