New survey reveals how many South Africans are willing to get a vaccine -or not- and why

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A new research briefing, published by The Centre for Social Change (CSC), University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), reveals how many South Africans are willing to take a Covid-19 vaccine as well as their reasoning.

The results are based on the UJ/HSRC Covid-19 Democracy Survey, which took place between 29 December 2020 and 6 January 2021. A total of 10,618 participants were polled. The findings were also weighted by race, education and age and the questionnaire was available in the six most widely spoken languages in the country.

The result of the poll show that the majority are willing to get vaccinated:

  • 67% of adults would definitely or probably take a vaccine if it available.
  • 18% of adults would definitely or probably not take a vaccine.
  • 15% of adults did not know.

Professor Kate Alexander from UJ said it is excellent news that such a large and representative survey shows that 67% now want to take the vaccine. “The biggest challenge is to make sure that the majority get what they want.”

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The research shows that race, education, age and politics also influence an individuals outlook on vaccine acceptance.

  • 69% of Black African adults would definitely or probably take the vaccine (that is, ‘acceptance’), 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 18-24, and 74% for those aged 55 and older.

In terms of political standing and voting intention, vaccine acceptance was as follows: ANC: 78%, DA: 65%, EFF: 62%, other parties: 67%. For individuals who do not intend to vote, vaccine acceptance was lower, with only 48% willing to get jabbed.

The survey also asked whether the respondents thought President Ramaphosa was doing a good or bad job at handling the Covid-19 outbreak. The results show that 73% of respondents thought Ramaphosa was doing a good or very good job and only only 36% thought the president was doing a bad or very bad job.

Among those who said they would get vaccinated, their main reasoning was about protecting themselves or others, and often both. According to the survey’s findings, the most commonly cited reasons for not taking a vaccine were about effectiveness, side effects and uncertainty about testing. Only 10% referred to conspiracy theories.

“Our analysis shows that vaccine hesitancy comes 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,” said Professor Narnia Bohler-Muller from the HSRC. “We need a vaccine literacy campaign that provides factual information that will sway the waverers.”

For more information regarding details of the survey, click here and read more trending news, here.

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