Thousands of clergy members from a cross-section of faiths — imams, rabbis, priests, swamis — are trying to coax hesitant Americans to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
By weaving scripture with science, they are employing the singular trust vested in them by their congregations to dispel myths and disinformation about the vaccines. Many are even offering their sanctuaries as vaccination sites, to make the experience more accessible and reassuring.
Their mission is becoming increasingly vital. With the White House promising enough doses for every American adult by May, public health officials are shifting their attention to the substantial number of people who are still skeptical about the vaccines. Winning them over is imperative if the country is to achieve widespread immunity from the virus and a semblance of normalcy.
Some of the most potent reasons people cite in resisting vaccines are rooted in religious beliefs. But clergy members who believe in the importance of vaccines are uniquely positioned to counter those claims.