New study shows impact religious leaders have on vaccination efforts
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A new study shows about one in 10 Americans say the COVID-19 vaccine conflicts with their religious beliefs.
That same study also shows that the religious community will play a big role in increasing the number of people who get the shot.
Five days a week at the corner of Winchester and Castleman, anybody can come and get a free contactless COVID-19 rapid and PCR test. The COVID testing site isn’t brought to you by a medical facility but spearheaded by a church, Greater Community Temple.
The church partnered with Free COVID Care to provide the tests.
The church hired about five employees to be trained to administer three tests.
“You know the Bible says our people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge and one thing we need to know is how we are health wise,” said Bishop Brandon B. Porter.
Porter says he and his church have been active during this entire pandemic, not only with testing but also partnering with the city as a vaccination site.
A study by the Public Religion Research Institute shows faith-based institutions are a valid part of increasing vaccinations.
More than 50 percent of those who said they attend religious services regularly also said that a faith-based approach encouraged them to get vaccinated.
“We need to know that this COVID situation and the varied variants are real and our people are dying, and it’s time for us to get a hold of this and ourselves to be managers of our own health,” said Porter.
While 10 percent of Americans say the vaccine conflicts with their religious beliefs, 60 percent of Americans say there is no valid religious reason to refuse the shot.
While a majority of every other major religious group says their faith doesn’t include a valid reason to refuse the vaccine, just 41 percent of white evangelicals believe the same.
While waiting on vaccine numbers to increase, Porter says being aware of your COVID-19 status is also equally as important, especially as you gather around loved ones for the holidays.
You can get a free rapid COVID-19 and PCR test Monday through Friday at 5151 Winchester Road. They’re open until 6 p.m. and you don’t need an appointment.
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