Only 53% of South Africans would want to take a coronavirus vaccine if it was available, an Ipsos/World Economic Forum survey has found. Two causes of this low percentage are worries about potential side-effects, and people being against vaccines in general.
How can this be turned around as South Africa inches toward preparing for vaccine distribution?
On Sunday, 3 January Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced plans for the distribution of vaccines to the country, with healthcare workers expected to receive the first doses. Ideally, Dr Mkhize said, the country would begin vaccinating frontline healthcare workers in February 2021.
State expresses wish for February rollout of vaccines, will prioritise healthcare workers
But according to the Ipsos/World Economic Forum survey in December 2020, just 53% of South Africans said they totally agreed that if a vaccine was available, they would take it.
By comparison, in October, 68% of South Africans surveyed said they would take the vaccine. In August, the number stood at 64%.
According to the survey, with multiple answers allowed, reasons for people not wanting to take a vaccine were worries about potential side effects (65%), not being sure it was effective (24%), there not being enough of a risk…