Survey: Religious leaders could have an impact on those hesitant about getting vaccinated

A new survey shows that faith-based approach to hesitancy could convince more people to get the coronavirus vaccine.

Out of those who said they attend some type of religious service at least a few times a year, 44% who are hesitant about getting the coronavirus vaccine and 14% of those who said they were resistant to it said a faith-based approach could change their minds.

“We’re at a transition point where the scientific and technical expertise are finding their limits,” said Robert Jones, CEO and founder of the Public Religion Research Institute, which partnered with the Interfaith Youth Care for the study.

“To solve this problem, we’re going to need our best cultural resources,” Jones said. “We’re getting record numbers of shots and arms. But we’re also finding that many groups are lagging behind for very complex reasons.”

More than 5,600 hundred people took the survey online.

The faith-based approaches suggested in the survey included a religious leader getting the vaccine, religious forums on it and nearby congregations serving as clinics.

Among white evangelical Protestants who are vaccine hesitant, 47% who regularly attend services said faith-based approaches would make them more likely to get vaccinated, according to the survey.

About one-third of Black Protestants and Hispanic Americans who are coronavirus vaccine hesitant said one or more faith-based approaches would make them more likely to get vaccinated.

Of Republicans and 24% of rural Americans who are vaccine hesitant, the survey found that faith-based approaches would improve their likelihood of getting vaccinated.

Of those who are very worried about the safety of vaccines and are vaccine hesitant, 30% said that faith-based approaches would make them more likely to get vaccinated.

“America’s religious leaders and congregations can be a powerful tool for persuading a broad range of Americans to get vaccinated,” Jones said.

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Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

This content was republished with permission from CNN.

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