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.

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

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Participate in national events mobilizing vaccine outreach across the country

participate

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

join

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Share back your participation with the White House

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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

Shauna Morin
- July 29, 2021
In many ways, the wisdom shared through these interviews—mirrored in the PRRI-IFYC data released this week—illuminates the importance of religiously and culturally competent strategies in our ongoing efforts to get people vaccinated.
Monique Parsons, Managing Editor, and Silma Suba, Staff Writer
article - July 29, 2021
Thirty-two percent of vaccinated Americans reported in June that a faith-based approach made them more likely to get vaccinated, according to the survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC).   
Jim Salter
- July 22, 2021
Across Missouri, hundreds of pastors, priests and other church leaders are reaching out to urge vaccinations in a state under siege from the delta variant. Health experts say the spread is due largely to low vaccination rates — Missouri lags about 10 percentage points behind the national average for people who have initiated shots.
Emily McFarlan Miller
- July 22, 2021
The solution, said Chris Palusky, president and CEO of Bethany Christian Services, is “the loving care of a family, not another orphanage.” He pointed to Scripture passages that say God sets the lonely in families and call on Christians to care for those who have been orphaned.
Shauna Morin
- July 22, 2021
The following interview features Debra Fraser-Howze, founder and president of Choose Healthy Life, an initiative that fortifies community infrastructure to better address the pandemic in Black communities. The interview was conducted by Shauna Morin for IFYC; it has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Renée Roden
article - July 21, 2021
Besides demanding equitable distribution of vaccines, the Interfaith Vigil for Global COVID-19 Vaccine Access called on the World Trade Organization to waive intellectual property rights for vaccine manufacturing in order to enable more countries to produce COVID-19 vaccines domestically.
Elizabeth Welliver Hengen
article - July 19, 2021
Yet the debate about the vaccine in Tennessee is not solely a debate about science. Rather, I believe the vaccine debate is also a referendum on our public capacity to embrace vulnerability.
Lev and Sivan Kotler-Berkowitz
article - July 14, 2021
Sivan and I feel that it is crucial to work for increased vaccination rates, particularly with more transmissible and potentially more deadly variants emerging across the country and throughout the world.
Dominique Grate
article - July 14, 2021
We made calls to friends, disseminated flyers, engaged in social media marketing, partnered with faith-based communities, and engaged the local health department to encourage members of our community to come to our upcoming clinic and get vaccinated.
Paul Raushenbush
- July 13, 2021
"It’s not about accepting other’s beliefs and pushing your own away - it is about being respectful, while still having the freedom to express your beliefs"
Shauna Morin
article - July 12, 2021
La siguiente entrevista presenta a Anthony Cruz Pantojas, copresidente de la Alianza Humanista Latinx, afiliada de la Asociación Humanista Americana. La entrevista fue realizada por Shauna Morin para IFYC; ha sido editada y resumida por motivos de claridad.
Kathryn Post
- July 1, 2021
“Dr. Fauci embodies humanist values, including his steadfast commitment to science, his demonstrated empathy and compassion for others and his overall direct approach,” AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt told Religion News Service in an interview.
 Janett I. Cordovés
- June 28, 2021
The following interview features Berto Aguayo, executive director and co-founder of Increase the Peace, a Chicago-based organization that tackles the root causes of violence through leadership development and community organizing.
John Seewer
- June 28, 2021
While their religious beliefs don’t forbid them to get vaccines, the Amish are generally less likely to be vaccinated for preventable diseases such as measles and whooping cough. Though vaccine acceptance varies by church district, the Amish often rely on family tradition and advice from church leaders, and a core part of their Christian faith is accepting God’s will in times of illness or death.
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.