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Between Healthcare Practitioners and Clergy: Evangelicals and COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy


Evangelical Christians are among the most hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine. This study examined the extent to which COVID-19 vaccination uptake among Evangelicals is explained by demographic characteristics, Health Belief Model constructs, and faith-based support factors. Survey research firm Qualtrics recruited 531 U.S. adults and conducted a survey to explore predictors of COVID-19 vaccine uptake among people who self-identified as Evangelicals in September 2021. A logistic regression showed that those reporting high perceived benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine were more likely to be vaccinated, while those reporting high perceived barriers were less likely to be vaccinated. Those whose healthcare provider asked them about the vaccine were more likely to be vaccinated than those whose healthcare provider did not ask. Finally, while those who reported information seeking from religious leaders were less likely to be vaccinated, those who reported more faith-based support for vaccination were more likely to be vaccinated. In addition to beliefs about benefits and barriers to vaccination, the role of healthcare providers and clergy were important factors influencing vaccination status. Intervention efforts that capitalize on partnerships between health providers and clergy in supportive congregations may be able to reach undecided Evangelicals.

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