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Fake news and fallacies: Exploring vaccine hesitancy in South Africa

Avania Bangalee, Varsha Bangalee
South African Family Practice | Vol 63, No 1 : Part 4| a5345 | DOI: | © 2021 Varsha Bangalee, Avania Bangalee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 June 2021 | Published: 26 October 2021

About the author(s)

Avania Bangalee, Department of Medical Virology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Prinshof Campus, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa; and, National Health Laboratory Services, Johannesburg, South Africa
Varsha Bangalee, Discipline of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


Historically, vaccine hesitancy (VH) has been a thorn in the side of public health efforts to contain and eradicate infectious diseases. This phenomenon is magnified in light of the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Surveys conducted across South Africa since the outbreak of COVID-19 demonstrate the complexity of factors that contribute towards VH in this population. Amidst the negative press that the COVID-19 vaccine has received, especially across social media, understanding and combatting VH remains important to achieve herd immunity. This article aims to shed light on key factors fuelling COVID-19 VH in South Africa and provides a framework from which to address this problem.


vaccine hesitancy; vaccines; public health; COVID-19; vaccine acceptance; immunisation; South Africa


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