ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 17, 2020. A study conducted by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), in partnership with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has shown that the majority ( average 79%)) that respondents in Africa would receive the COVID-19 vaccine if it was considered safe and effective.
Conducted between August and December 2020, the study interviewed more than 15,000 adults, aged 18 and over, across 15 African countries: Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya , Malawi, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia, and Uganda.
Survey data shows large variations in willingness across countries and across the five continental regions, from 94% and 93%, respectively, in Ethiopia and Niger to 65% and 59% , respectively, in Senegal and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a global decline in vaccine uptake and uptake due to doubts about the efficacy and safety and dissemination of false vaccine information. The pandemic has exacerbated controversies over vaccines as a protective measure against infectious diseases.
The study was therefore conducted to examine public knowledge and perceptions about the COVID-19 vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine, thus identifying information gaps, cultural beliefs, and ideas to inform interventions for vaccines. sent in advance throughout the continent.
Overall, willingness or not to take COVID-19 vaccine relied heavily on reliance on vaccines as well as perceptions of importance, safety, and efficacy. Safety was highly regarded; on average 18% of respondents believed that vaccines are generally unsafe and 25 per cent thought that a COVID-19 vaccine would be dangerous. Some respondents stated that they did not trust vaccines in general but others expressed trust for the COVID-19 vaccine in particular.
Older respondents, those who know someone who is well-tested for COVID-19, and those living in rural areas are more likely to receive the COVID-19 vaccine than younger people , those who have not seen COVID-19 affect anyone, and those who live in urban areas.
Refusal of a COVID-19 vaccine appears to be linked to misinformation and disinfection, as the majority of those who said they would not be vaccinated believe that the disease is man-made, not , or that it augments the truth and is not a serious problem. threat. Others believe they are not at risk of being infected with the virus but others believe that natural remedies and other medicines are safer than vaccines.
Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are now well-advised do not need to be vaccinated because they believe they are protected from the disease and can no longer be infected.
Respondents commonly cited the World Health Organization (WHO), healthcare professionals, governments, pharmaceutical companies, Gavi, and Africa CDC as the reliable sources for approval regarding the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.
These findings highlight the real need for strategic involvement at community level to address the long-term disagreement for vaccines and the reluctance to adopt COVID-19 vaccines among some sectors. of the population. It clarifies the need for helpful education and awareness to provide essential information that will enable people to make an informed decision to accept the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Communicating with communities and being aware of their concerns and information needs around the COVID-19 vaccine will be critical to building trust not only around the COVID-19 vaccine, but for vaccines in general, ”says Dr. Heidi Larson, co-lead researcher and Vaccine Confidence Project Director at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
“This study is an eye-opener that provides vital scientific evidence to guide interventions with CDC Africa, Member States and partners to make good use of COVID-19 vaccines across the board. the continent, ”said Dr John Nkengasong, Director of CDC Africa.
About Africa CDC
Africa CDC is a specialized technical institution of the African Union that strengthens the capacity and capability of African public health institutions as well as partnerships to detect and respond to disease threats and illnesses quickly and effectively, based on interventions and data-driven programs. Learn more at: http://www.africacdc.org.
About the Vaccine Confidence Project
The Vaccine Confidence Project (VCP) founded in 2010 by Professor Heidi Larson was developed in response to hesitancy and misinformation on vaccination programs such as those that caused a boycott of polio eradication efforts in Northern Nigeria in 2003–04. It is an early warning system to identify and evaluate public confidence in vaccines, with the purpose of tackling the problem early, when it is likely to be treatable. The Vaccine Confidence Project Team is an interdisciplinary and international group of researchers with experience in anthropology, digital analysis, epidemiology, policy, psychology and more. Vaccine confidence is not a one-sided issue, so the VCP ™ cuts across control areas to implement innovative research and policy recommendations. For more information click on www.vaccineconfidence.org
Procedure notes for editors
The study was conducted by ORB International from August to December 2020. In each country an nationally representative sample of adults aged 18+ was interviewed. In four of the countries (Kenya, Tunisia, Morocco and Ethiopia) interviews were conducted through Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) and in the other 11 countries interviews were conducted through Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI). The margin of statistical error for each country at the confidence level is 95% + 3.1%. ORB International is a member of the World Association for the Study of Public Opinion (WAPOR) and adheres to their Code of Conduct.