47% of South Africans aren't keen to get the Covid-19 vaccine jab - Ipsos survey
In September 2020, an Ipsos survey on behalf of the World Economic Forum and conducted online in 27 countries with 20 000 respondents indicated that almost 75% would be willing to get a vaccine for Covid-19 if it became available.
South Africa was one of those countries surveyed and the willingness was measured at 64%, compared to the global average of 74% at the time.
But a 15-country survey conducted in December among 13,500 adults has shown a shift in numbers. South Africans are now less keen according to the recent survey, with only 53% now willing to take the vaccine.
When a Covid-19 vaccine becomes available, 47% of survey participants say they would refuse to get vaccinated.
Refilwe Moloto speaks to Ipsos South Africa Public Affairs Director Mari Harris.
What might be the reason for this shift in willingness?
It might be almost counterintuitive.Mari Harris, Public Affairs Director - Ipsos South Africa
Since reality has dawned and since the inoculations started in the US, the UK, and other countries, the whole vaccine landscape I think has changed, because suddenly in those countries it is possible for people to get a vaccine.Mari Harris, Public Affairs Director - Ipsos South Africa
So when we look at the [survey] results, when the question was only theoretical, a higher proportion of people said yes they might get the vaccine.Mari Harris, Public Affairs Director - Ipsos South Africa
But as the vaccine becomes available, she sees most countries show a decrease in willingness.
Not all the decreases are huge, but South Africa's is rather huge. In places like France and Russia, less than half are saying they just won't get the vaccine. Even in the UK and US, the feeling of getting a vaccine is lower now than in August.Mari Harris, Public Affairs Director - Ipsos South Africa
I think in South Africa...uncertainty is really the issue. Will we get a vaccine? Which of the vaccines are we going to get? How safe will it be? How effective will it be? Because the rules change in a way.Mari Harris, Public Affairs Director - Ipsos South Africa
She says the other contributing factor, is her belief that governments around the world are not communicating clearly about the practical procedure involved in receiving the vaccine. Harris says 'don't leave people in the dark', and ensure the literature about the vaccines easily understandable to all.
People are saying they are worried about side-effects which I think is a lame excuse.Mari Harris, Public Affairs Director - Ipsos South Africa
South Africa is one of the three countries at the bottom of the list surveyed in terms of willingness to have the vaccine.
South Africa is one of the most skeptical.Mari Harris, Public Affairs Director - Ipsos South Africa
Listen to the interview with Mari Harris below:
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