More than a third of South Africans have expressed reluctance to be vaccinated against Covid-19, a study on “public perceptions regarding the deployment of the vaccine in South Africa” revealed on Wednesday.
“A total of 28% of the South African population is not willing to receive the anti-Covid-19 vaccine, while 10% are not sure they want to be vaccinated,” said the study which was conducted by the NGO Ask Afrika, in partnership with the South African Department of Communication (GCIS) and the Solidarity Fund.
According to Ask Afrika president Andrea Rademeyer, who presented the results to the media, of the 28% of South Africans who do not want to be vaccinated, half say they have little information about the vaccination rollout plan.
A provincial breakdown of the study results reveals that people in the North West and Limpopo are the most willing to be vaccinated with over 70%, she added, noting that neutrality dominates the Northern Cape, while the Western Cape shows the highest rate of vaccine reluctance.
As for racial distribution, she continued, Indian communities are the most willing to be vaccinated, followed by the black and white communities, while the mixed-race community is the least vaccine-friendly.
South Africa, the country most affected by the pandemic in Africa, is still lagging behind in the race for vaccination. It faces a third devastating wave of Covid-19 infections since last June, fueled mainly by the Delta variant first discovered in India.
Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the third wave of infections, which is lasting longer than expected, is causing authorities to worry about an impending fourth wave.
Since the start of the pandemic, the country has recorded more than 2.8 million positive coronavirus cases, including more than 83,000 deaths.
To achieve herd immunity in this southern African country of 59 million people, more than 40 million people must be fully vaccinated.