The COVID-19 Vaccine Survey (CVACS) is a South African national panel study of individuals initially unvaccinated against COVID-19. CVACS is implemented by the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) based at the University of Cape Town. The same respondents are interviewed twice, a few months apart, in 2021 and then 2022, to gather information about their attitudes, beliefs and intentions regarding COVID-19 vaccination. The purpose of CVACS is 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. In comparison to Survey 1, Survey 2 collected data on unvaccinated and vaccinated respondents. Final data files are:
Unvaccinated (as was in S1)
Vaccinated (New to S2)
derived (As in S1)
Link_File (New in S2 - this links the panel)
Kind of Data
Sample survey data
Unit of Analysis
Households and individuals
v1.0.0: Edited anonymised data for public distribution
CVACS measures multiple outcomes, such as vaccination knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs (including specific concerns); vaccination intentions (plans to get vaccinated), vaccine access constraints, and information seeking.
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.
The data is at the country level. Because of the size of the sample, it is not advised to generate any aggregate results at sub-national levels including at the level of province or lower levels of geography.
Producers and sponsors
Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit
University of Cape Town
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
CVACS Survey 1 was obtained from a stratified sample drawn from the GeoTerraImage (GTI) 2021 sampling frame (https://geoterraimage.com/), using individuals aged eighteen and older. The sample was primarily stratified across the following categories: province, population group, geographic area type (metro, non-metro urban, non-metro rural) and the neighbourhood lifestyle index (NLI), in groups of NLI 1-2, NLI 3-4, and NLI 5-10. Age categories defined according to the COVID-19 vaccination age groups (18-34, 35-49, 50-59, 60+), and gender were used as further explicit stratification variables. A credit bureau database was linked to this database at the enumeration area level, including individuals who had applied for credit, regardless of the outcome, and individuals who have had a credit check.
The CVACS Sample in Survey 2 included individuals from Survey 1 who were re-interviewed, who fell into two categories: vaccinated between Survey 1 and 2, or those remaining unvaccinated. In order to realise an unvaccinated sample of similar size to Survey 1, a top-up sample of unvaccinated individuals was interviewed. These individuals were drawn from the same sampling frame as Survey 1. Younger and female respondents were less likely to be re-interviewed in Survey 2. The full Survey 2 unvaccinated sample is more skewed to the younger age categories, due to higher vaccination rates among the elderly precluding many from inclusion into the study.
The CVACS Survey 2 data includes cross-sectional survey design weights for the full Survey 2 sample of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Panel weights are included for the sample of individuals from Survey 1 who were re-interviewed in Survey 2, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated. Weighted CVACS data, whether design or panel-weighted, is not nationally representative of all unvaccinated individuals in South Africa. Design-weighted CVACS Survey 2 data corrects for non-response and uneven inclusion probabilities within the sampling frame. Panel-weighted CVACS data corrects for a degree of attrition bias. With very high rates of non-response and attrition, the weighting adjustments are unlikely to account for all selection bias in non-response or self-reported vaccination status, or for attrition bias across Survey 1 and 2.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Computer Assisted Telephone Interview
CVACS was approved by the Ethics in Research Committee (EiRC) of the Faculty of Commerce, University of Cape Town on 9 November 2021.
Data was collected for Survey 2 with two questionnaires, one for vaccinated and one for unvaccinated respondents. CVACS used computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI). The CVACS questionnaires were translated into all South African languages and interviews were conducted in the preferred language of the respondent. Most of the survey questions collected individual-level data, with some household level data also collected through the individual questionnaire.
University of Cape Town
Public access data for use under a Creative Commons CC-BY (Attribution-only) License
COVID-19 Vaccine Survey (CVACS) 2022, Survey 2 [dataset]. Version 1. Cape Town: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation [funding agency]. Cape Town: Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit [producer], 2022. Cape Town: DataFirst [distributor], 2022. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25828/Y6FM-1K12