The UNICEF South African free U-Report SMS platform received over 5 000 responses with 75% of those from young people aged up to 24 years old.
UNICEF South Africa Representative, Christine Muhigana, believes that young people over the age of 18 have brought new momentum to the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.
Muhigana explains that the poll provides insight into the perceptions of young people on the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The poll revealed that many young people are hesitant about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as they are uncertain about the side effects and the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Muhigana emphasizes that they conducted a poll and not so much research, so only a limited amount of information was obtained.
Due to the hesitance of these young people, Muhigana states that credible information on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine should be made available to them.
From the poll, it was seen which forms of media these young people use to receive credible information about the vaccine.
30% listened to the radio and watched tv to learn more about the vaccine, 36% turned to health care workers, and 13% used social media as their source of information about the vaccine.
UNICEF has launched several campaigns, such as Myth or Vax, #Grandkids4Gogos and UNICEF multimedia truck.
Myth or Vax is a campaign in partnership with TikTok, which is aimed at providing accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccinations.
#Grandkids4Gogos includes young people who volunteer to assist the elderly in their communities register for the COVID-19 vaccine.
The UNICEF multimedia truck goes into communities to provide members with information about health services and how COVID-19 is prevented. The initiative provides COVID-19 vaccinations and also continues to inform community members about non-pharmaceutical interventions such as wearing a mask when in public, maintaining social distance and washing hands regularly.
UNICEF is also working with community radio stations where they actively engage with young people and have open discussions about the vaccine and broader issues related to COVID-19 in their communities and country.