Only two-thirds of people in Africa keen on taking Covid-19 vaccine: Research

Only two-thirds of people in Africa are likely to voluntarily take Covid-19 vaccines, while the rest are bound to reject it, a recent study by the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed.

This came out during a Webinar hosted by the African CDC, public strategy firm, Gate field, and the Global Health Advocacy Incubator to engage journalists on issues of Covid-19 vaccines safety, effectiveness and distribution.

The findings are part of a report released by the Partnership for Evidence-Based Response to Covid-19 (PERC) Consortium.

The consortium is made up of public health organizations such as the Africa CDC, Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, the World Health Organization (WHO), the UK Public Health Rapid Response Team, The World Economic Forum and the private sector such as market research company, IPSOS.

According to the survey, Morocco is the only African country which recorded the highest number of people interested in the vaccine while Tunisia and Cameroon had the lowest number of people interested in the vaccine.

“In the 19 member countries surveyed, 91 percent of the people surveyed in Morocco were most interested in receiving the vaccine while Tunisia and Cameroon had the lowest number of people, at 35 percent. The report disclosed levels of acceptability in other countries as follows, South Africa 61 percent, Zimbabwe 61 percent, Nigeria 72 percent, Zambia 53 percent, Mozambique 75 percent, Egypt 78 percent, Kenya 59 percent and the Democratic Republic of Congo 52 percent,” revealed the survey.

The new briefs (part of the third series of data collection and analysis from PERC) combine results from phone surveys on the impact of public health and social measures (PHSMs)with information on epidemiological trends, media monitoring, and data on population mobility.

Speaking during the Webinar, Dr Emmanuel Agogo, a representative of Resolve to Save Lives in Nigeria outlined the reasons for vaccine hesitancy identified in the research and urged journalists to take responsibility and enlighten people about the vaccines.

“Journalists can inform and increase public confidence in vaccines,” he said.

Dr Agogo added that journalists should distribute reliable and accurate information on vaccines as many myths are being perpetuated.

“Journalists should do research, check the facts and use trusted sources of information”.

Africa CDC recommended that African countries should continue the rollout of the vaccine while the African Taskforce for Coronavirus (AFTCOR) said the benefits of the vaccines outweigh its risks.

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