We all know that people turn to religion during times of crisis. That's why Dr. Eric Boerwinkle, dean of UTHealth School of Public Health, is pleading with churches around the local area to share the message that Covid-19 vaccines are safe and highly effective. He also believes that young children need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity throughout the great state of Texas.
In a statement, Dr. Marc Boom, CEO of Houston Methodist Hospital, said, "the faith community has been so critically important in getting the word out. If we can convince people to get vaccinated, I'm pretty optimistic about where we can go."
Their rationale and desire to work together to fight vaccine hesitancy makes sense. According to The Washington Post, "white evangelicals ranked highest among those who are religious and refusing to get vaccinated. Forty-five percent of white evangelicals said they would get the vaccine, the second-lowest acceptance of any religious affiliation behind Latino Protestant groups." Since the Church is a trusted institution amongst many Texans, it's hoped that faith leaders promoting the Covid-19 vaccine will increase uptake amongst local Christians.
Churches Are Being Converted Into Vaccination Clinics.
Many throughout the country have a general distrust of the public health establishment and are unwilling to visit a hospital or health center to get vaccinated. However, the Church is a familiar and trusted place where a lot of people feel comfortable. Therefore, Churches throughout Texas are being temporarily converted into vaccination clinics to increase uptake amongst evangelicals. Quoting an article published by USA Today:
"Faith groups said their facilities, particularly at megachurches, are often good locations for vaccine sites. In addition to being centrally located in communities they serve, many have indoor space and parking lots large enough to host drive-thru services. Faith leaders said they hoped to serve as critical partners in the largest vaccine rollout in history."
Texas Is Currently Undergoing A Massive Vaccination Campaign.
At the time of writing, approximately 54% of Texans have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Also, 45% of residents in the state are fully vaccinated. And with thousands of doses being administered each day, it's only a matter of time before everyone in the state will have a degree of immunity against Covid-19.
Of course, some people are hesitant to get the Covid-19 vaccine in Texas. However, the CDC has repeatedly stated that the "COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization (EUA)."
In related news, The Food and Drug Administration has approved third doses of coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna for patients with weaker immune systems, allowing doctors greater discretion in protecting those who did not respond well to the first round of injections.
Are you hesitant to get the Covid-19 vaccine? And if so, why? I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered health advice. Please consult a doctor before making any significant health decisions.
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