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South Africans are keener to get vaccinated. But many still need convincing

The number of people being vaccinated against COVID-19 in South Africa is on the rise after a bumpy start.
Increasing vaccination calls for a targeted approach. Image: Brenton Geach/Gallo Images via Getty Images

The number of people being vaccinated against COVID-19 in South Africa is on the rise after a bumpy start. But the more positive attitudes are not always reflected in vaccine registrations and vaccinations, according to the latest results of the Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey. The survey follows a nationally representative sample of South Africans. The same people are contacted on a monthly basis and asked questions about a wide range of issues such as their income, household welfare, and their knowledge and behaviour related to COVID-19. The research was done by experts at the universities of Stellenbosch and Cape Town. Ronelle Burger, one of the lead researchers of the survey, spoke to The Conversation Africa about the findings.

How is South Africa doing?

Our survey found an increase in the proportion of adults willing to get vaccinated from 71% in March 2021 to 76% in May 2021.

Vaccine acceptance in South Africa is now comparable to high-income countries such as Australia and Germany.

But nearly one in four participants were still hesitant about getting vaccinated. About one in 15 were strongly opposed to vaccinations. This group may not be open to persuasion.

What are the gaps between intention and action?

We also found a large gap between the proportion of people saying they were willing to vaccinate and those who had actually taken action. In the survey we used the electronic registration for vaccination as a proxy to measure people’s ability to convert intention into action.

In the age group of people older than 60, 78% said they were willing to vaccinate. Nationally, by the beginning of July 2021, only 55% this group had registered for vaccination. This shows that there are many people who say they are willing to be vaccinated but have still not taken action to get themselves registered. It is important to understand this gap between intent and action. The international literature suggests that this is most likely attributable to underlying uncertainty and distrust, requiring more assurances or due to a high time or money cost of registrations and vaccinations.

This interpretation aligns with the large gaps we see in vaccine registrations across the provinces and Limpopo’s strong lead at 77% versus the 55% average.
Limpopo is the country’s poorest province, and has a large population of elderly who are mostly illiterate and live in rural areas. It also has the lowest share of people covered by medical schemes. To ensure an equitable and efficient vaccine rollout the province chose a different path. Community health workers were provided with smartphones and went into communities to help older people get registered for vaccination. Royal and religious leaders were among the first to get the jab, and this helped to encourage people to vaccinate. And vaccine sites were set up in areas that are easy to access.

What needs to be done?

The international literature and the case study of Limpopo suggest that addressing this intent-action gap requires a three-pronged strategy.

The first is to provide accurate information about vaccine safety and side effects. Vaccine safety was a major concern among respondents. People expressed concerns about the possible side effects and that the vaccine testing might have been rushed. Such communication should be done in languages that people understand, on platforms that are readily accessible.

Communication campaigns must be tailored to address those who are still fearful. For example, vaccine acceptance was higher among people living in traditional settlements, among isiZulu, isiTsonga and Setswana speakers, and black respondents. It was significantly lower among respondents living in urban formal residential housing who are Afrikaans speakers, and white and Coloured respondents. Vaccine acceptance also remains low among young people.

The second thing is to increase trust by working with community leaders and networks to spread the correct information about vaccines. In our survey, more than half of the respondents who were on the fence said they would get vaccinated if a trusted community leader got vaccinated and stayed healthy.

The third thing to do is to remove barriers for those who do want to get vaccinated. Some of these barriers are access to internet and other resources required to register for vaccination, being far from vaccination sites and not having time to go to a vaccination point during the work day.

What about vaccination inequality?

The worst case scenario of uneven vaccine distribution would be a localised version of the global events where rich nations have vaccinated large proportions of their populations and poor countries are dealing with constant resurgence. The same could happen if there isn’t a concerted effort to make sure that people who don’t have access to private health services are vaccinated at the same rate as their richer counterparts. South Africa could see continued COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths among the poorest communities. Currently, the proportion of people older than 60 with medical aid who have been vaccinated is around double of those without.

But the National Department of Health has shown increased awareness of this situation and seems willing to take measures to address this. For example, COVID-19 vaccinations will also take place over weekends and plans are under way to set up mobile vaccination sites at the pay points for old age grants.The Conversation

Ronelle Burger, Professor of Economics, Stellenbosch University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


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My cousin was 52, he refused to take the vaccine. We buried him last week, he died from Covid complications.

@MoneyChief – my friend died of a stab wound to the head

Don’t be an arse

What can we expect when we promote religion and superstition over science and facts

There is lot of nonsense going around on facebook about covid and the sad thing is people believe it.

Yea you’re right. Like promoting the superstition that unwashed cloth masks somehow prevent covid, or that ‘asymptomatic carriers’ (aka healthy people) can infect other people, or that you can spread it to other people outside in the fresh air. Or, even worse, the superstition that staying locked up in your house with no sunlight and no exposure to bacteria and viruses for 12 months is somehow good for your immune system. Those superstitions and pseudo-science are indeed very dangerous!

Condolences for your family member passing

FDA warns that Johnson & Johnson covid vaccine may be linked to Guillain – Barre syndrome

Slow painful paralysis to eventual death

The rapid release of covid 19 vaccines have given rise to fear of other prescribed (Packaged) diseases/complications

Why would a vaccine incubate this such disease?

Guillain Barre is also seen with normal flu as well as covid 19. So yes, the vaccine can cause it, however the benefit of taking the vaccine still far outweights the negatives.

Leah, the one case I know of got it after covid not after vaccine!

Also, for most sufferers it goes away after a few weeks.

It seems as if a lot of religious people are also against the vaccine. The mark of the devil and things like is in the vaccine.

I don’t think you understand ‘the mark of the beast’ properly. It’s not that people think the ‘mark of the devil’ is an ingredient in the vaccine. The ‘mark of the beast’ is said to be a marking that you have to show in order to buy and sell goods and be part of society. The issue is not that the vax is being pushed, but that there is a vax passport that’s being pushed with it- where you won’t be able to work, travel, or buy food unless you have the ‘mark’ to prove you’re vaccinated. That’s not science fiction – that’s happening. In france they’re protesting because Macron is making it mandatory to have a vax pass to buy groceries, and wants to throw people in jail for 6 months if they don’t have the vax pass. Madness, but it’s happening

We are from the government and are here to help .

1st !!! The pharmaceutical companies have an agreement NOT TO BE HELD LIABLE FOR ANYTHING! 2nd. It usually takes 3 – 5 years and testing on rats and other animals before dispensing the new vaccination. There was no 3 – 5 years and the humans are the rats! There are no studies in long term effects either. My question would be, you have Bill Gates a proven proponent of depopulation helping save people?????????If you looked on other websites than Google (heavily controlled) and do your homework you may find a different philosophy?? Go search for the movie by Robert De Niro called Vaxxed. They pulled it after the Cannes’ film festival. But look at clinical research. I don’t watch CNN. I listen to well accredited Doctors.

One can dig out an ‘accredited’ Doctor behind every rock. The vaccine is all we have, take it or don’t take it. Nobody cares.

I’ll leave it, thanks. You can have my dose. If 2 doses is good, 4 doses must be better!

The lack of transparency about most everything to do with this virus is beyond belief. The entire media system both local and international have been and continue to operate in total unison to pump a narrow and identical dialogue which is devoid of any other view or independent analysis on any component issue. Why are there such unusual efforts to prevent any normal human evaluation of the various aspects? People have become naturally suspicious, especially when their livelihoods and way of life have been forcefully ripped from them, which is another subject that gets no coverage or analysis. The reproduced data and stats are never independently analysed for integrity or accuracy except by very few alternative media entities that find themselves being unfairly attacked for their efforts. The authorities are doing nothing to address the reasons for suspicion on any component issue; instead they are all bullying and threatening. Ask a question and be instantly ostracised or much worse. I will be very surprised if even this comment is not censored, like many similar ones before it. Such obtuse sensitivity is reason enough to fear the worst.

You have hit the nail on the head, there is no platform for an alternative view! The CEO of Discovery has stated that they calculate that almost 65% of all SA citizens have had Covid, and that the chances of getting it a second time is only 30% once you have had it, which is similar to taking the vaccine! SA is not dying of Covid it is dying of starvation!

Is the earth also flat mate?

How do people in townships register? Do they have access to EVDS? And then will it send them to random locations on the other side of the province like we had, because expensive to take transport all over the place.
Im wondering if unwillingness is being mistaken for lack of access?

I am planning to register my domestic helper, let’s see how that goes. She is over 60 and has been treated for TB and AIDS. She tested positive for Covid after feeling a bit ill. 12 Days later tested negative and back to normal. Pretty amazing from my perspective.

Centralization is indeed scary. Since our retirement we only use one car. My husband and I were directed to be at two opposite locations, both deep in the heart of the township, at the same time. Two mid sixties whites, with medical aids. Fortunately could use some contacts to go as walk-ins at a private facility. Not everybody has that option and the “system” clearly does not know where you live.

Or vice versa. I was allocated to a vaccination point in a large township, there were a handful of suburbanites but no township residents in the queue, which seemed odd. I also wondered how many elderly/vulnerable suburbanites would be able or willing to navigate the unmarked streets to find the place.

Why dont the vaccinated people leave the unvaccinated people alone.
Get a vaccine – great. Dont get a vaccine- great. It really has nothing to do with other people, it is a private matter

Yes, but mostly it is the anti vaxxers spreading anti vax news. Like Zokey.

Nobody’s forcing you. But ultimately it is a collective effort, as the term ‘herd immunity’ implies. The alternative is a repetitive cycle of unpredictable variants and very predictable lockdown measures, which affect everyone.

Herd immunity is indeed how all viral infections are ultimately extinguished. It does not require that everyone’s immune system becomes aware of the new invader, far from it. Much is known but little is said. Fully and independently tested and approved injections are useful in this regard, but not essential. Ooops, I suppose that this fact will incur the wrath of the many shareholders in the associated industry, and they have friends in high places to ensure people like me get squashed. Of course one injection is never going to be enough and because there are variants and the efficacy is short lived then there will need to be booster jabs. Noises mumble around about every 3 months or so, probably for ever, like the variants. Ching ching. Now the children and the infants are all being earmarked for injections. Not that it is necessary, but why not? Mind control is such a profitable occupation.

Herd immunity does not come from a vaccine! I still do not understand how you can lock down a country, when there is 50 to 80% unemployment, depending on the way you measure it, and this virus only kills 1% of people that are actually underlyingly ill! The excuse is that our hospitals can’t handle it. Time to manage it a bit better then it will! The IMF now dictates what we are allowed to do and steers the underlying narrative: “get vaccinated or we won’t give you any more money”.

Because you expect us (fellow taxpayers and/or medical fund members) to pay for the R30k to R50k per day you will cost in ER if your covid goes nasty. Versus for R600 cost to us you can entirely eliminate the risk of hospitalization from covid.

There are people with good reasons, but the rubbish from the tin hat brigade about secret societies and conspiracies : stuff that, then you take on personal liability for treatment cost. I ain’t paying for obstinate stupidity.

Yes, there are odds something can go wrong. But the entire point of trials with a million people is to determine that you might have a 1 in 13 million chance of a fatal stroke, but by not being vaccinated you anyway have a 1 in 130k chance of dying from covid.

Improve you odds

and the >40% of the country that has already been exposed to/had/fought off Covid and are adding to the herd immunity numbers? How are you factoring them into your vaccine stats?

Experienced : you need to know how long after vaccination these people contracted covid.

In the clinical trials nobody that was vaccinated that contracted covid after 50-odd days required hospitalization.

Vaccines don’t prevent covid, they prevent bad covid

Johan, I agree that for some people the vaccine makes sense (especially the elderly). But for others, a much more effective way to reduce ‘bad covid’ as you say, is to lose weight, prevent/manage things like diabetes, boost your immune system with things like supplementation and diet. Covid affects people disproportionately based on lifestyle and health indicators (which is a good thing). The young and healthy are generally safe. Everyone should improve their health as much as possible. Wellness doesn’t only come from a syringe.

people who refuse vaccine are selfish and irresponsible and put others at risk .

It is the other way around. The vaxed shed some virus particle for 6-8 weeks after vaccination, causing those around them to get sick. This is a well documented fact. Do your own research. If I provide you with links, it will again get censored.

One can only shed virus particles if you are Covid positive? These shed particles after vaccination must be inactive?


No!!! The vaccines do not contain even a fraction of a fraction of the virus. Nothing. You cannot shed what you do not have.

Science 101

People are being put at risk by the secrecy surrounding the reports of adverse reactions. In other countries these reports are also not analysed by the authorities, but they are at least categorised and counted and the data is published. Very few, if any attempts are made to determine who may be at risk of adverse reactions, not even by the manufacturers. Those that could and should have been warned remain ignorant whilst they are herded along with everyone to become volunteers for the further consumption of some injection or other. Informed consent is nothing more than a joke. The people are not even told that indemnities are in place and they will be entirely at their own risk. The adverse reaction data reports of the USA and UK show that many thousands have died within a very short time of being injected, along with which category of condition was reported. The media reports absolutely none of it. Perhaps because if the public knew there would be outrage at the collusive intent to kill people for profit.

Your blind obedience to government fear, propaganda and unconstitutional actions is irresponsible and puts others at risk.

The ANC loves you and only wants what is best for you.

As I recall, thats what Duarte said about the dear Jacob Zuma during his resisting of his conviction and sentence. Surely such love can only lead to his premature release. (Or else).

I am in my early 40’s. I am not an anti-vaxer, I most probably will eventually take it. But will wait a another couple of months, get through another winter in 2022. Take a decision then. My 2c worth…

Agreed. By then we might know if it’s a seasonal vaccine for new variants like flu vaccine or vaccinated countries have indeed managed to squash it. I suspect that Covid will be another disease around forever with the annual booster shot for the worst variants.

The death rate for 40 year olds is low. Let’s see whether we can move on from the hype into more sensible territory again.

Pfizer is already saying you’ll need a booster shot in 6-12 months. It will be like the annual flu shot. Completely voluntary and questionable if it’s effective against the latest variant.

Awaiting for a Zombie Apocalypse to those who have been vaxxed. Check Netflix, every movie is about the ‘Undead’. People have been conditioned for what’s coming… predictive programming (I am Legend, Army of the dead etc). Even the CDC website jokingly talking about the a zombie outbreak.

Watch the movie “V for Vendetta” released in 2006. Accurately explains part of the agenda.

In ’76, 53 people died from the swine flu vax, then it was pulled off. Today over 10 000 people have died from this CV vax and the programme has not been stopped… WHY?

Question everything!!!

Question everything, including the compulsion to question everything.

Refusal to take the vaccine is more than selfish.

You may be infected and spread the virus without knowing it, causing the deaths of others. You may become an incubator for an even deadlier strain.

It will take longer for any type of meaningful economic recovery. As an example: Tourists will avoid the country like – literally – a plague. When will we again be able to attend sporting events, or music shows, or movies?

As a Moneyweb reader, surely you must understand this.

It is your choice. As it is mine. I don’t judge yours…

Little opportunity for NPIs in Khayelitsha and no vaccination, yet numbers in second wave(different variant) less than half first wave, third wave(different variant) less than half second wave. Natural immunity is likely longer lasting and more protective against variants than vaccination. Both will contribute to eventual herd immunity.

The silver lining is that not taking the vaccine means you will build your own immune system which will contribute to herd immunity in any case.

Let the vaccines go to the most vulnerable, and lets get to the stage of living with the virus. By the time SA manages to get to 60% vaccination rates we’ll have multiple new mutations anyway that need new vaccines.

Sadly, we cannot eradicate it, so we need to work out how to live with it.

You cannot infect someone if you are a-symptomatic. And if you show symptoms you isolate yourself. IN any case currently the UK is with Isreal the most vaccinated country in the world but currently experience a massive COVId wave. 17 k of of new infections were not vaccinated versus 15 k that is vaccinated.

Come on Moneyweb, by censuring my post you are only admitting my point.
I have just found the crude rate for SA to update the post you are holding.

Death rate, crude (per 1,000 people) in South Africa was reported at 9.398 % in 2019 as well as 2020, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources. South Africa – Death rate, crude – actual values, historical data, forecasts and projections were sourced from the World Bank on July of 2021.

We are being subjected to Covid theater. The question is why? The increase in the total number of dead for anything and everything increased by a very small amount per 100,000 population for England and Wales in 2020. Go look it up on the ONS website. I have supplied the links to the same data with regard to SA and we see exactly the same thing here, nothing unusual about the all mortality death rate last year. It is such a small increase that without the Covid fear machine I doubt any of us would have noticed. If that isn’t enough getting the vaccination doesn’t mean you won’t get the disease so why get vaccinated? This is what we killed whole great swathes of our economy for. Well done. Why have we all become such silly ridiculous people? So the question remains…why? Who is benefiting from all this nonsense? Why the propaganda? Why is it so necessary for everyone to be vaccinated if vaccination doesn’t give anyone any benefit? They say being vaccinated means the disease will be less severe but that is just anecdotal posturing or a SWAG. No empirical data for that at all. So again why? My guess is they got it wrong. The models were wrong. The doctors were wrong. The politicians were wrong. If we get let out and start to realize they were wrong and they destroyed our economy via a bunch of nitwits from SAGE and MAC with a political agenda we might get really quite angry so they have to keep us locked down and the fear level up.

I’ll bet Siyabonga Africa now wishes he never went anywhere near the vaccine.

End of comments.





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