Most South Africans are willing to take the Covid-19 vaccine, but Afrikaans speakers are more hesitant than other language groups, according to a recent study.

  • 71% of South Africans are willing to take the
    Covid-19 vaccine.
  • Afrikaans speakers are more vaccine hesitant than
    other language groups.
  • Young people are more likely to be vaccine hesitant
    than older people.

The rate of vaccine hesitancy is low in South
Africa, with 71% of people willing to take the Covid-19 jab.
The recent National Income Dynamics Study
(NIDS)–Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (CRAM) Wave 4 study has found that over
71% of South Africans would take the Covid-19 vaccine, if it were available.
Mass vaccination for Covid-19 is only expected to start in the country on 17
Researchers collected the NIDS-CRAM Wave 4 data
between 2 February and 10 March 2021. There were 5 629 successful Wave 4
According to the research, local vaccine acceptance
is higher than recent estimates from the United States and France, but lower
than China, Brazil and the United Kingdom compared to other countries.
The research
The youth and those with only a primary school education were more likely to be vaccine hesitant.
People over 60 and those who have chronic
conditions like HIV/Aids, TB, lung conditions, heart conditions or diabetes
were less likely to be vaccine hesitant.
“Worryingly, those that are obese or
experience hypertension were not more likely to accept a vaccine,” the
researchers said.
Distrust, concern about side effects
Young people, aged between 18-25, were much more
likely to be vaccine hesitant than older adults.
“Specifically, just 63% of youth are willing
to take a Covid-19 vaccine, as opposed to 72%–73% of individuals aged 35–59
years and those older than 60 years. Those most at risk of Covid-19 (those with
chronic conditions and the elderly) were more willing than the general
population to accept a vaccine.”
Some of the reasons that participants gave for
their vaccine hesitancy included not believing that it was effective, worrying
about the side effects, or not trusting vaccines in general.
Researchers said: 
Only 8% of those exhibiting vaccine hesitancy attributed their hesitancy to a low perceived risk of getting Covid-19. People who trust social media as an information source were significantly more likely to exhibit vaccine hesitancy.
When it comes to home language, the most vaccine
hesitant people are Afrikaans speakers.
Forty-two percent of Afrikaans home language
speakers are more likely to be vaccine-hesitant. This is much higher than the
national average of 29% and significantly higher than seven of the 11 language
The researchers found the lowest hesitancy rate
among Tshivenda (18%), isiNdebele (19%) and isiXhosa, isiZulu and Sepedi
respondents (all 25%).