The public’s response and attitude to vaccination against the various strains of the Covid virus is a hot discussion topic, and fertile ground for conspiracy theories.
The Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) conducted an online survey to gauge support for COVID-19 vaccination by members of medical schemes. The results of the month-long study, with over 75 000 participants, will be used to facilitate planning and communication strategies in the rollout of the vaccine program.
The results of the survey indicate that the majority of medical scheme members want to get vaccinated, with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine as their preferred choice.
According to Michael Willie, General Manager of Policy, Research and Monitoring at the CMS, the survey revealed the following:
- 71% of respondents trust the vaccine would prevent them from contracting COVID-19
- For 34% of respondents, the main reason for not getting inoculated was that the vaccines were too new, and they wanted to wait and see how it worked on other people
- 21% were worried about possible side effects
- 14% said they did not trust the government to make sure the vaccine was safe and effective
- 43% of participants felt that there was adequate awareness and information about COVID-19 vaccines, 41% did not and 16% were unsure
- More than half (53%) of participants thought it was appropriate for medical schemes to cross-subsidise non-members for the COVID-19 vaccine while 27% were opposed to it and 20% were unsure
- General practitioners (GPs) and pharmacists were the preferred vaccination sites as these accounted for 50% and 33%, respectively. The 17% balance chose hospitals, clinics, community centres and other types of settings as their preferred vaccination sites
- 58% percent of participants answered that they would accept the COVID-19 vaccine if their employer would recommend it, whilst 20% gave a neutral/no opinion response. Less than ten percent, completely disagreed
“Targeted communication strategies, improvements in health promotion and reduction in the barriers to COVID-19 vaccination are key to building trust. The findings of this study provide key insights to improving access and highlighting some of the strategies that could be employed in Phase II and III of the rollout plans,” Willie concludes.
A summary of the report can be downloaded here.
The full report can be accessed here.