The distribution of COVID-19 vaccines is a source of hope as well as an enormous challenge in the midst of a global pandemic. Religiously diverse communities are active contributors to this important national project, understanding the need to work within and across communities for the common good. One of the most pressing challenges in vaccination is the lack of access to and trust for the vaccine among many American communities. Religiously diverse communities have a unique opportunity to promote vaccine trust and access – a national imperative which will increase vaccine uptake and save lives across the country.

IFYC is honored to support the Biden-Harris administration’s Month of Action to support COVID-19 vaccination across the nation. Learn more about IFYC’s commitment to this work by reading this piece from Founder & President Eboo Patel.

1

Get trained and access IFYC’s Faith & the Vaccine playbook to learn about effective vaccine outreach

get trained

2

Participate in national events mobilizing vaccine outreach across the country

participate

3

Join the #FaithVax conversation online to share your experiences mobilizing vaccine outreach

join

4

Share back your participation with the White House

share

National Research on Faith & Vaccines:

With partners at the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), IFYC conducted the largest national study on religion and COVID-19, the first in a series of surveys. The polling confirmed that faith-based approaches can move many vaccine-hesitant communities toward acceptance.

  • 26% of Americans who are hesitant to get a COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly one in ten of those who are resistant to getting a vaccine, say that faith-based approaches supporting vaccinations would make them more likely to get vaccinated.
  • Among those who attend religious services at least a few times per year, 44% of those who are hesitant, and 14% of those who are resistant, say faith-based approaches would make them more likely to get vaccinated.

Learn more about American attitudes on the vaccines through the lens of religion, politics, and racial/ethnic identities check out the video for the report launch here.

Trainings & Tools

IFYC has developed a library of trainings, tools, and resources to support faith-based vaccine outreach across the country.

Get the Playbook

This national playbook provides guidance on concrete actions, messages, and strategies to engage religiously diverse communities in faith-based vaccine outreach.

get playbook

Get Trained

Access IFYC's library of training videos and other virtual tools to equip leaders for effective faith-based vaccine outreach.

get training

Faith in the Vaccine Outreach Programs

IFYC is launching a series of programs designed to leverage the skills of interfaith leadership for vaccine outreach: 

Faith in the Vaccine on Campus:

Mobilizing college students on campuses across the country to address vaccine hesitancy and access in their local communities. This program equips, engages, and resources college students to be leaders for vaccine outreach in innovative, culturally sensitive ways. Learn more here.

Alumni Vaccine Network:

Activating IFYC’s alumni network, young leaders trained in the skills of interfaith leadership. This program coordinates young professionals to engage vaccine outreach within their personal and professional spheres, including religious, educational, medical, and civic professional networks.

Faith in the Vaccine in Chicago:

Networking faith-based and faith-inspired community organizations in Chicago to navigate vaccine access and trust issues locally. This program networks, equips, and resources community leaders to work on the ground in highly local ways to support their community in vaccination. See our Chicago program participants here.

Faith and Public Health Alumni

Anu Gorukanti

Hindu & Buddhist - Los Altos, CA

As a pediatrician, Anu is deeply committed to ensuring the patients she serves have equitable access to the vaccine and access to accurate, scientifically-based information in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. She plans to develop virtual town halls to discuss vaccinations for the pediatric population.

Irshad Osman

Muslim – Ontario, Canada

Irshad partners with local and provincial governments to develop religiously sensitive messages for Muslims who have questions about vaccination, help multiservice agencies apply for funding, and train civic ambassadors to counter rumors and misinformation.

Alexis Kassim

Christian – Alexandria, VA

Alexis Kassim has been working to encourage African-Americans to register for vaccination and has also helped to create a rideshare program to get people to their appointments. She hopes to expand the reach to undocumented communities and new congregations.

Anastasia Young

Christian – Minneapolis, MN

As an RN, Anastasia speaks with patients about their interest in receiving the vaccines as well as how to schedule their appointments. Anastasia hopes to create a one-page, easy reference guide for providers to support empathetic, curious engagement with patients who have concerns about the vaccines.

 
 
 

FAITH AND VACCINE IN THE NEWS

Carrie Antlfinger
article - June 17, 2021
Members of Black communities across the U.S. have disproportionately fallen sick or died from the virus, so some church leaders are using their influence and trusted reputations to fight back by preaching from the pulpit.
Shauna Morin
article - June 8, 2021
The following interview features Imam Makram El-Amin, who has led the Masjid An-Nur (Mosque of Light) in Minneapolis for 25 years and serves as executive director of Al-Maa’uun, the mosque’s community outreach organization.
Shauna Morin
article - June 7, 2021
The following interview features Anthony Cruz Pantojas, co-chair of the Latinx Humanist Alliance, an affiliate of the American Humanist Association.
Shauna Morin
article - June 7, 2021
The following interview features Micah Fries, director of programs at the Multi-Faith Neighbors Network and director of engagement at GlocalNet.
BC-US--Jill Biden-Harlem Vaccination Site, 2nd Ld-Writethru
article - June 7, 2021
The church first started offering vaccine doses in January in an effort to boost the vaccination rates in New York City’s Black and Hispanic communities.
Shauna Morin
article - June 7, 2021
This article is part of a series called Faith in the Field that explores responses to Covid-19—including vaccination efforts—within different faith communities. 
Mary Ellen Giess
article - June 7, 2021
Fr. Dennis Holtschneider, president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, talks about the Catholic response to the pandemic.
Eboo Patel, Mary Ellen Giess, Paul Brandeis Raushenbush
article - June 3, 2021
Two thousand volunteers of diverse faiths will engage people through their religious communities.
Shauna Morin
article - May 26, 2021
In March 2021, IFYC and PRRI released findings from a recent survey on religion and the COVID-19 vaccine. The study revealed that, among Black Protestants, attending religious services is positively correlated with vaccine acceptance.
Eboo Patel and Robert P. Jones
article - May 24, 2021
Residents of many of the most vaccine-hesitant areas in the United States turn out to be remarkably receptive to faith-based interventions.
Emily McFarlan Miller
article - May 20, 2021
Written in epidemiologist Emily Smith’s friendly, informational voice, the Facebook page has grown to more than 96,000 followers.
Tasmiha Khan
- May 14, 2021
Studies show that Black communities are severely impacted by COVID-19 and police violence, but Black Muslims are often erased from the picture.
Elaine Krebs
- May 13, 2021
Deciding to get vaccinated was an easy decision for me, not only because I want to visit my grandmother and other relatives, but because I believe it is the right thing to do in accordance with my Catholic faith.
Melissa Jenkins
article - May 12, 2021
North Carolina is not alone in regard to macro-level efforts by state governments to increase access to vaccines, subverted by micro-level actions by individuals.
Laura Bohorquez
article - May 11, 2021
A través de mi experiencia, sé que las familias hispanas han sido gravemente, y desproporcionadamente, afectadas por la pandemia, y los datos de la Encuesta sobre Diversidad Religiosa y Vacunas de 2021 de PRRI-IFYC lo corroboran.
Silma Suba
article - May 11, 2021
"It is permissible within our religion to defer, or to make up your fast later if you're feeling sick."
Laura Bohorquez
article - May 11, 2021
From experience, I know that Hispanic families had been greatly, and disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and survey data from the 2021 PRRI-IFYC Religious Diversity and Vaccine Survey corroborates this.
Silma Suba
article - May 7, 2021
IFYC is collecting prayers and meditations from diverse faiths to show our solidarity with the people of India, as well as links to charitable organizations that people can support.
Natasha Mikles
- May 6, 2021
Generally, tradition holds that the body is to be cremated or buried as quickly as possible – within 24 hours for Hindus, Jains and Muslims, and within three days for Sikhs. This need for rapid disposal has also contributed to the current crisis.
Robert LeLaurin
article - April 30, 2021
This is a sampling of sacred texts and statements, listed in alphabetical order by religion, that religious communities have used to engage in the work of public health amidst this global pandemic.
article - April 29, 2021
Una nueva encuesta conducida por el Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) e Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) encontró que los enfoques basados en la fe pueden mover a más comunidades indecisas sobre la vacuna hacia la aceptación.