Bankole FALADE, South Africa Research Chair in Science Communication, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
The presentation examines the predictors of vaccine hesitancy across Africa asking the question: Is hesitancy a culturally constructed phenomenon? The analysis uses public perceptions of three issues: importance, safety and effectiveness of vaccines to examine vaccine hesitancy in eight African countries: Morocco, Mali, Nigeria, Gabon, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa.
Preliminary findings show that while a three factor model of trust (science research, science and scientists and social actors) and the derived variables promise, reserve and engagement are significant predictors across the data set of 144 countries, there are variations in the significance of these variables across African countries. The second wave of the Global Monitor, conducted in 2021, in the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic, to be released in June 2021, will also provide a unique opportunity to examine these variables across two time periods, the before and after, as vaccination has become the main policy option for the containment of the pandemic. The expected 2021 data will provide more information on the effect if any of the pandemic on these variables.