This is the key finding of the latest UJ/HSRC Covid Democracy Survey, the largest and most comprehensive survey to consider the issue of vaccine acceptance and hesitancy in South Africa.
Analysis is based on 10 618 completed questionnaires that were weighted by race, education and age, making findings broadly representative of the total adult population. It was conducted between 29 December 2020 and 6 January 2021.
A breakdown of the findings:
The proportion of adults in South Africa willing to be vaccinated is still lower than for most countries, so there are no grounds for complacency. However, the findings show an improvement on those coming from other recent surveys and will, doubtless, be welcomed by those recognising that halting the COVID carnage requires mass vaccination. More than half the adult population definitely want to be vaccinated and, adding in those who probably want to be vaccinated, the figure for acceptance comes to 67%, two-thirds of the population.
Sixty-seven percent of the adult population is not quite enough for population (‘herd’) immunity, calculated at 67% of the total population (not just the adults).
Two things combined will shift this situation: vaccinating minors (which is likely to be agreed by regulators soon) and convincing waverers that vaccination is good for themselves, their families and society at large. Education campaigns that provide authoritative factual information for people who believe they are inadequately informed or are confused by hearing different messages are therefore vital.
The big problem now is not public acceptance, it is getting vaccines into people’s arms.
What is Fedhealth’s stance?
Fedhealth strongly recommends that our members get vaccinated once the vaccine becomes available. We believe that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and that it’s in the best interests of all eligible South Africans to get vaccinated – the sooner, the better.
We do understand that there is plenty of information doing the rounds with regards to COVID-19 vaccinations. Many of these sources are not reliable or accurate, so always make sure you obtain your info from a reputable source, and be careful not to spread or share misinformation.