A survey conducted by Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), has shown that at least eight out of 10 people in Africa would take a Covid-19 vaccine if it was made available, safe, and effective.
The survey which was in partnership with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Orb international interviewed respondents from 15 African countries.
It showed that most people were concerned about safety. An average of 18% of Africans believe vaccines are generally not safe while 25% think that a Covid-19 vaccine would be unsafe.
The survey indicated that those who believe that the effects of Covid-19 have been overstated are more likely to believe in disinformation than the rest of the population.
Even though a lot of respondents know about the vaccine, the survey showed that there are significant variations in willingness to be vaccinated. The head of public health institutes and research at Africa CDC, Raji Tajudeen, said there is also the fear that those who think the vaccine is unsafe could influence the uncertain ones in their decision to take it or not.
The study showed that it is more likely for people to believe that the Covid-19 vaccine is not safe. DRC saw the highest number of safety concerns at 43%. In Kenya 23%, Uganda 19%, and Sudan 25%.
Reasons given by some respondents for not taking the vaccine included little or no trust in the safety of the vaccine, Covid-19 has been overrated, denial, and low risk among others. Others also believed they will rather get the disease when they vaccinate.
The study was carried out between August and December 2020, interviewed 15,000 adults in 15 African countries from both urban and rural dwellers.
The 15 African countries are Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia, and Uganda.