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Perceptions of Covid-19 vaccines in South Africa

Source(s):  Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform (SSHAP)

This review syntheses community perceptions of COVID-19 vaccines in South Africa to inform RCCE strategies and policies and provides examples of successful practice. Understanding how individuals and population groups perceive and make sense of COVID-19 vaccines is critical to inform the design and implementation of risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) strategies, and guide interventions aiming to promote and sustain acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines, while encouraging compliance with other COVID-19 preventive measures.

This review offers a number of conclusions, including: 

  1. Vaccine hesitancy in South Africa is often intertwined with distrust in institutions, rooted in a history of inequality. An effective pandemic response to COVID-19 requires tackling this distrust.
  2. There is a need for more diverse data from a range of communities.
  3. Effective response to vaccine hesitancy will require information about vaccines that is accessible, clear and encourages two-way communication.
  4. It is important to understand and address the specific concerns of various sociodemographic groups.
  5. Tailored strategies may be needed to address the different needs and perceptions about and among migrants and refugees. 



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  • Perceptions of Covid-19 vaccines in South Africa
  • Publication date 2021
  • Author(s) Roldan de Jong, T.
  • Number of pages 20 p.
  • ISBN/ISSN 10.19088/SSHAP.2021.021 (DOI)

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