A survey by the University of Johannesburg, in partnership with the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), has shown that two-thirds of the country's adult population will be willing to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
The survey, done by the University of Johannesburg's (UJ's) Centre for Social Change and the HSRC's Developmental, Capable and Ethical State, used 10 618 participants and found that 67% would definitely or probably take a vaccine if it was available, while 18% of adults would definitely or probably not take a vaccine.
It was conducted between 29 December 2020 and 6 January 2021, using social media adverts to direct potential participants to the survey.
67% of SA adults say they would take a Covid-19 vaccine if it was available Supplied UJ
"Findings were weighted by race, education and age, and are broadly representative of the population at large. The questionnaire was available in the country's six most widely spoken languages," said UJ in a statement.
The most common reason among the 67% for accepting the vaccine was to protect themselves, while those who would not take the vaccine, and those who did not know if they would or not, cited worries about the effectiveness of it and the side-effects.
Only 10% of those who would not take it referred to conspiracy theories.
Other key findings include:69% of black African adults would definitely or probably take the vaccine, compared with 55% of white adults. 72% of adults with less than matric level education would definitely or probably take the vaccine, while 59% of adults with a tertiary education would take it.
The survey also looked at people's acceptance of the vaccine in terms of their voting intention.
"In terms of voting intention, acceptance was as follows: ANC: 78%, DA: 65%, EFF: 62%, other parties: 67%. Among those who did not intend to vote, acceptance was much lower, only 48%."
Participants were also questioned on whether they thought President Cyril Ramaphosa was doing a "good or very good job" in dealing with the outbreak.
Seventy-three percent of those who thought he was doing a good job would accept the vaccine, while 36% of those who thought that he was doing a "bad or very bad job" would take it.
"Our analysis shows that vaccine hesitancy comes down to a range of legitimate concerns about a vaccine developed and rolled out in record time, as well as some distrust in the government and corporations.
"We need a vaccine literacy campaign that provides factual information that will sway the waverers," said Professor Narnia Bohler-Muller from the HSRC.