In this file picture, Professor Martin Veller, Dean of Health Sciences at Wits volunteers to participate in South Africa’s first Covid-19 vaccine trial at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital. Picture: Daniel Born
In this file picture, Professor Martin Veller, Dean of Health Sciences at Wits volunteers to participate in South Africa’s first Covid-19 vaccine trial at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital. Picture: Daniel Born

SA study shows 67% of adults would take Covid-19 vaccine while 18% won’t

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jan 27, 2021

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Johannesburg - On the back of the recent Covax signing of an advance purchase agreement for up to 40 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, a new study in South Africa has found that 67% of adults would definitely or probably take a vaccine, while 18% would not.

The Centre for Social Change at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in partnership with the Developmental, Capable and Ethical State research division of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) released research on the public’s willingness to take a Covid-19 vaccine and reasons for their decision on Tuesday.

The research was conducted online using social media adverts, and #datafree through biNu’s Moya Messenger app.

It was completed by 10 618 participants, and findings were weighted by race, education and age.

It found, among other things, that 69% of black African adults 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, the research found.

Acceptance was 63% among adults aged 18-24, and 74% for those aged 55 and older.

People were asked: “Please explain your answer”. About 6 000 respondents provided responses to the question.

Professor Narnia Bohler-Muller from the HSRC said: “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. We need a vaccine literacy campaign that provides factual information that will sway the waverers.”

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.”

Separately, Covax, the global initiative to ensure rapid and equitable access to Covid19 vaccines for all countries, announced the signing of up to 40 million doses of the PfizerBioNTech vaccine candidate, which has already received World Health Organization (WHO) emergency use listing.

Covax also anticipates that, via an existing agreement with AstraZeneca, at least 50 million further doses of the AstraZeneca/ Oxford vaccine will be available for delivery to Covax participants in the first quarter of 2021, pending emergency use listing by the WHO of the Covax-specific manufacturing network for these doses.

A decision on this candidate is also anticipated by the WHO in February.

The Star

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