Reluctance to immunize is widespread among young people in Africa, new research shows.
The Ichikowitz Family Foundation’s 2021 survey of young Africans found that nearly four in ten young Africans (39%) surveyed would probably or certainly not take the vaccine, if given the opportunity.
The survey includes the views of 4,500 young people aged 18 to 24 from major urban and rural areas of the African continent, including Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Sudan, Mozambique , Nigeria, Rwanda and South Africa. .
The study found that more than half of participants believed the death toll attributed to COVID-19 had been exaggerated for other political agendas. Almost four in ten respondents said they believe young people are immune to the disease. The main findings of the survey include:
- 58% believe the death toll has been exaggerated by the media for political reasons
- 56% believe COVID-19 was developed in the lab and intentionally spread by the Chinese government
- 37% think young people are immune to COVID-19
- 34% believe 5G technology has helped spread the virus
The deployment of vaccines has been deeply uneven around the world, with some African countries like Tanzania not having started administering vaccines until July 2021. This is reflected in the confidence levels of survey respondents, 37% saying that they are not confident in their country. will have access to a safe and effective vaccine.
Despite levels of hesitation about vaccination, the vast majority of respondents (85%) are very or somewhat concerned about the spread of infectious diseases.
The pandemic has been devastating for people’s livelihoods. About 19% of those polled were found unemployed and in South Africa, unemployment soared to 34.4%, a record rate for the country.
Ivor Ichikowitz, President of the Ichikowitz Family Foundation, said: “Despite our future potential as a geo-commercial and political power in the world, Africa faces diverse but growing challenges, each exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. -19. Ours remains the continent with the fewest vaccines and the weakest health systems.
“It is very worrying that almost 40% of young people say they will not get vaccinated. This should be of great concern to governments and health authorities as they fight to combat the spread of the Delta variant. This is further exacerbated by our results showing high levels of misinformation about the origins, spread and death rate of COVID-19.
“In many countries in Africa, we are witnessing the ramifications of entrenched economic and social upheavals that have come under a very public microscope in the wake of the pandemic,” Ichikowitz added. “As the streets of South Africa have shown in recent times. months, there is an unprecedented urgency to remedy these dissensions. However, we must view this moment as an opportunity to resolve long-standing divisions and infrastructural constraints to growth. It is up to all of us to seize the opportunity to put the continent on a higher, more inclusive and sustainable growth path. ”