AD496: Despite doubts about government response to COVID-19, majority of Mozambicans want vaccination

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Dispatches
2021
Sibusiso Nkomo

As of early December 2021, Mozambique has recorded 152,120 COVID-19 infections and 1,941 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began (Africa Centers for Disease Control, 2021).

The government declared a state of emergency from March to September 2020 and mandated a temporary lockdown. Some restrictions on movement and gatherings continue under a state of public calamity (U.S. Embassy Mozambique, 2021).

The government also promised measures to support businesses and vulnerable families, but critics say funds have not benefited small and medium-size enterprises or poor households (Centro para Democracia e Desenvolvimento Mozambique, 2020).

Mozambique has administered about 10.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, or enough to fully vaccinate about 18% of the country’s population (Reuters, 2021; World Health Organization, 2021).

A new Afrobarometer survey in Mozambique shows that most citizens are aware of COVID- 19, and a majority approve of the government’s overall response to the pandemic. But majorities also say that government assistance was distributed unfairly, that some officials steal resources intended for pandemic relief, that official COVID-19 statistics are unreliable, and that they don’t trust the government to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe.

Even so, a majority of Mozambicans say they are likely to try to get vaccinated.

Citizens indicate a willingness to accept certain restrictions on their freedoms during a health emergency, including the use of the police and armed forces to ensure compliance with public health mandates and the postponement of elections.