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.

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.

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

Hannah Minks
- March 12, 2021
Four national religious leaders joined Eboo Patel to discuss the crucial role that faith communities are playing in fostering far reaching and equitable vaccinations against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Silma Suba
- March 8, 2021
"Our role is to ensure that we provide all the necessary information so they can make an informed decision about their choice," said Rucha Kaur, Sikh Coalition Community Development Director.
Silma Suba
article - March 3, 2021
According to The Washington Post, hundreds and thousands of vaccine-questioning posts by social media users are targeting Christians with misinformation.
Jack Jenkins
article - March 2, 2021
Several COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers used cells originally derived from tissue from an aborted fetus in the 1970s, but the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines used the cell lines only to test their vaccine.
Brigid Flaherty
article - March 1, 2021
Besides any role models we find in our beautiful faith traditions, we serve as inspirations to one another. I firmly believe we can support our neighbors by stepping up to do our part in the fight against Covid-19.
Brady McCombs
article - February 26, 2021
Ghana received 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Wednesday and the Ivory Coast took delivery of 504,000 on Friday.
Ashraf Khalil and Hilary Powell
article - February 22, 2021
"Black residents make up a little under half of Washington’s population, but constitute nearly three-fourths of the city's COVID-19 deaths."
Yonat Shimron and Adelle M. Banks
article - February 19, 2021
Across the state, nearly every major health care system has partnered with Black and Hispanic houses of worship to expand vaccine access, setting up mobile clinics in their parking lots and fellowship halls.
Alexandra Jaffe
- February 14, 2021
Thes team will work with "leaders of different faiths and backgrounds who are the front lines of their communities in crisis and who can help us heal, unite and rebuild."