What drives the willingness to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in South Africa?

  • Yemi Adewoyin
  • Clifford O. Odimegwu University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Keywords: COVID-19, Risk beliefs, Health status, Case familiarity, Vaccine willingness, South Africa


The willingness to get vaccinated in South Africa is among the highest in the world, measuring at 76%. This study investigated the impact of individual risk beliefs, self-reported health status, and familiarity with someone with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the willingness to get vaccinated in South Africa. Data were obtained from the Wave 5 of the South African National Income Dynamics Study – Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression. More than 53% of the population believed that they were not at risk of COVID-19; 71.8% believed that they were in good health; and 31.6% knew someone with COVID-19. Beliefs (odds ratio [OR]: 1.287), health status (OR: 1.064), and COVID-19 case familiarity (OR: 1.034) were associated with willingness to get vaccinated. Other associations remained positive in the adjusted model. The relationship between case familiarity and willingness to get vaccinated shows that knowing someone who died of COVID-19 or suffered from the discomfort induced by the disease may drive other individuals to get vaccinated.


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