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Covid-19 and issues surrounding vaccine hesitancy


In June the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development conducted a snap online survey of 1,000 South Africans across the country, aged between 18 and 55.

We explored various topical issues impacting quality of life in South Africa.


In early March 2020, the former Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize confirmed the first known South African to test positive for the novel Covid-19 virus. The first related death occurred 20 days later. It is now almost 16 months later, and the pandemic has truly taken a social, economic and emotional toll on the country and its citizens. Over 2-million Covid-positive cases have been confirmed by laboratories, and 62,000 people have died from Covid-19 related complications. However, the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation suggests that South Africa has nearly three times this number – likely around 161 100 deaths. (Link).

South Africa has tried to navigate unchartered waters of the largest public health crisis in a generation by instituting “lockdowns”, in line with other countries. The first Level 5 lockdown was among the most stringent and strictest in the world. In July 2021 owing to a tsunami of cases and deaths, the country is back to Level 4. At the time of writing, over 3.3 million vaccine doses have been provided with over 480k citizens fully vaccinated (still at only 0.8% of the population). In the global context, over 11% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Click here to access the survey findings.