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Study finds black people more likely to take COVID-19 vaccine than white people

18 Feb 2021 LATEST


Social media users are up in arms after a recent study found that black South Africans are more likely than white people to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

The study also found that those who are uneducated are also more likely to take the vaccine.

“People who did not have matric were more accepting and willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine compared to those who were more academically inclined.”

The study was conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the University of Johannesburg (UJ).

The survey results made public on Wednesday, February 17, titled: ‘Who wants the vaccine, who doesn’t and why? Findings and analysis from the UJ/HSRC COVID Democracy’ included 11 000 respondents.

There is a negative perception coming out of the survey that suggests black people are more eager to take the vaccine than other race groups.

Survey finds

Sociology Professor Kate Alexander, “Among people who did not have a matric, 72% were willing to take the vaccine when looking at the acceptance rate. The acceptance rate goes down when people gained more qualifications. For people who have completed matric but have not gone to university, the figure was at 62%.”


Black people were more eager to take the vaccine, with 69% of those surveyed choosing the option to be immunized against COVID-19. The Indian race group came in next at 68%, with 67% of the coloured population opting for the vaccine. Only 57% of white people surveyed are open to taking the vaccine.

The survey was conducted between December 29 and January 6, when the country peaked with infections.

It raises many concerns regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, currently being used to vaccinate frontline workers in South Africa. One of which is the issue of access to information.

Black South Africans disagree

Many black South Africans found the study offensive.

“Next time they must document the whole research and present us with evidence. We are not scapegoats,” one Twitter user wrote.

Another user added: “That study needs to be reviewed.”

One woman found the study “distasteful”.

“What does taking a vaccine [have] to [do] with being black and uneducated? I guess Mr. President Ramaphosa is uneducated.” 

A Twitter user pointed out that some black people are more willing to take the vaccine because they are frontline workers.

“Black and uneducated people are in the frontline service jobs. Of course they will want to take the vaccine because they are the most exposed and the most vulnerable community. A focus on demographics in this article is simply stupid,” he wrote.

Feature image: Thirdman from Pexels