LISTEN | Survey reveals young & South Africans 'less accepting' of vaccines

Vaccine acceptance increased between round three of the survey and round four, from 67% to 72%. File photo.
Vaccine acceptance increased between round three of the survey and round four, from 67% to 72%. File photo.
Image: SUNDAY TIMES/SEBABATSO MOSAMO

A recent survey by the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in collaboration with the Developmental, Ethical and Capable State research division of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) suggests that vaccine acceptance across SA has picked up, but that young and white South African remain hesitant about Covid-19 vaccines.

In conversation with TimesLIVE podcaster Prof Carin Runciman, director at the Centre for Social Change at UJ, unpacks some of the major findings from the most recent round of surveying conducted for the UJ/HSRC Covid-19 Democracy Survey.

Here is what she had to say:

She explains that vaccine acceptance increased between round three of the survey and round four, from 67% to 72%.

But she contextualised these figures by saying that younger people are less likely to be accepting of vaccines than older people. While the acceptance rate for those aged 55+ stood at 85%, an increase of 11 percentage points since round three, in the 18-24 group it was only 55%, a decline of eight percentage points.

She said vaccine acceptance had declined among white adults from 56% to 52%, while it increased from 69% to 75% for black African adults. However, white adults were more likely than black Africans to have been vaccinated (16% compared to 10%), for a variety of reasons.

Runciman explains that while young and white South Africans have shown notable scepticism towards vaccines, the scepticism is rooted in logic and could potentially be overcome through more comprehensive public awareness efforts.

UJ will release the findings of two reports at a webinar on Wednesday at 10.30am which will further unpack the latest findings of vaccine acceptance and hesitancy in SA.

The webinar is open to the public and the link to join can be found on the UJ Library Facebook page and Twitter page.

This article first appeared on TimesLIVE