Safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 are seen as a critical path to ending the pandemic. This synthesis brings together data related to public perceptions about COVID-19 vaccines collected between March 2020 and March 2021 in 22 countries in Africa. It provides an overview of the data (primarily from cross-sectional perception surveys), identifies knowledge and research gaps and presents some limitations of translating the available evidence to inform local operational decisions. The synthesis is intended for those designing and delivering vaccination programmes and COVID-19 risk communication and community engagement (RCCE).
5 large-scale surveys are included with over 12 million respondents in 22 central, eastern, western and southern African countries (note: one major study accounts for more than 10 million participants); data from 14 peer-reviewed questionnaire surveys in 8 countries with n=9,600 participants and 15 social media monitoring, qualitative and community feedback studies. Sample sizes are provided in the first reference for each study and in Table 13 at the end of this document. The data largely predates vaccination campaigns that generally started in the first quarter of 2021. Perceptions will change and further syntheses, that represent the whole continent including North Africa, are planned.
This review is part of the Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform (SSHAP) series on COVID-19 vaccines. It was developed for SSHAP by Anthrologica. It was written by Kevin Bardosh (University of Washington), Tamara Roldan de Jong and Olivia Tulloch (Anthrologica), it was reviewed by colleagues from PERC, LSHTM, IRD, and UNICEF (see acknowledgments) and received coordination support from the RCCE Collective Service. It is the responsibility of SSHAP.
This document is structured as follows: 1) the themes arising in the data and 2) operational and methodological considerations, 3) the full synthesis.