COVID-19 Vaccine Survey – CVACS

Dates: November 2021-March 2022.

Funding: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

SALDRU peopleBrendan Maughan-Brown, Katherine Eyal, Kim Ingle and Tim Brophy.

Coverage: Individuals in South Africa aged 18+ and unvaccinated against COVID-19 in November 2021.

Initial Sample size (November 2021): 3510 individuals.

Data: The CVACS survey data is freely available via DataFirst’s online data portal. The Survey 1 data is available here and the Survey 2 data is available here.

Included sections: Demographics, household and employment, COVID-19 and vaccinations (Survey 2), vaccination experience and future vaccination plans (Survey 1).


The COVID-19 Vaccine Survey (CVACS) is a South African national panel study of individuals initially unvaccinated against COVID-19.

The same respondents were interviewed twice, a few months apart, to gather information about their attitudes, beliefs and intentions regarding COVID-19 vaccination. The purpose of CVACS was to collect high quality, timely, and relevant information on facilitators and barriers to COVID-19 vaccine uptake – including vaccine hesitancy and access constraints – to contribute to the development of data-driven campaigns and programmes to increase COVID-19 vaccination uptake in South Africa.

Multiple outcomes are measured by CVACS, such as vaccination knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs (including specific concerns); vaccination intentions (plans to get vaccinated), vaccine access constraints, and information seeking.

To ensure that the most policy-relevant information was collected, the questionnaires were co-created with academics, policymakers, and members of civil society organizations involved in the COVID-19 response and vaccination roll-out. Co-development of questions was achieved through workshops, one-on-one engagements and policy crowdsourcing.

Survey 2 attempted to reinterview the same Survey 1 respondents and asked questions of both individuals who remained unvaccinated and those who had been vaccinated since Survey 1. Further unvaccinated respondents were recruited to replace Survey 1 respondents who dropped out of the survey, in order to achieve a sample of unvaccinated respondents of similar size to Survey 1.

CVACS was not designed to be, and should not be used as a prevalence study. The data cannot be considered to be nationally representative of all unvaccinated individuals in South Africa.