South Africa: A Hesitant Nation? Survey Shows Potential Acceptance of a Covid-19 Vaccine in South Africa


Our survey of attitudes towards Covid-19 vaccination in South Africa shows a higher proportion of the population is willing to be vaccinated than suggested by other recent studies. About two-thirds of the population definitely or probably want the vaccine.

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to inflict appreciable burdens of morbidity and mortality in South Africa, while also causing extreme social and economic disruption. In response, ensuring an effective large-scale and equitable rollout of a Covid-19 vaccine(s) has become a pressing issue.

It has given rise to significant debate and vaccine activism, but it has also raised concerns about potential public hesitancy to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

This issue was examined in Round 3 of the UJ-HSRC Covid-19 Democracy Survey conducted from 29 December 2020 to 6 January 2021. There were 10,618 fully completed questionnaires, a large sample. Responses were weighted by race, age and education, so that findings are broadly representative of South Africa's adult population.

Two-thirds favour vaccines

The key question was: "If a Covid-19 vaccine became available to you, would you take it?" Two-thirds (67%) said yes, with 52% stating that they would definitely take the vaccine, and a further 14% saying they would probably take it (Figure 1)....

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